On the morning of March 2, information appeared in the propaganda media and Telegram channels that a group of “Ukrainian saboteurs” entered the territory of the Bryansk region, took hostages, attacked a car with civilians, shot a man and wounded a child, and then left the region. The Russian authorities called it a terrorist attack. Representatives of the Russian Volunteer Corps claimed responsibility for the attack. They published a video from the village of Lubechany, in which they stated that the information about the killings and the taking of hostages was a lie, and the operation was carried out in order to show their compatriots that “there is hope that free Russian people with weapons in their hands can fight the regime” .
The "Russian Volunteer Corps" are mostly Russian emigrants who are fighting on the side of Ukraine and adhere to right-wing views. The corps was formed in August 2022 and is part of the International Legion of Territorial Defense of Ukraine. Oppositionist, former State Duma deputy Ilya Ponomarev, in a conversation with The Insider, confirmed that the RDK fighters really penetrated the territory of the Bryansk region on March 2:
“It was RDK. They sent me a video, I saw their faces. I don't know how they will get out of Russia, but I hope they get out alive. Now there is no connection with them, we hold our fists so that they return home safe.
I am sure that colleagues from the RDK weighed everything when they made this decision, and were aware of the possible consequences. Their example should inspire other Russians to fight against the current government, because one of our common tasks is to show the Russians that resistance is possible and that there are people who lead it.
Now a large number of media outlets, including oppositional and liberal ones, are spreading information that it is still necessary to check whether partisans and volunteer formations exist in Ukraine, and that everything is ambiguous. People doubt. The more such illustrations that this exists and has a large scale, the more new fighters will come into action and the sooner the Putin regime will fall. Now the most important line of struggle is in such actions.
Kapustin, the commander of the RDK, assured me that there were no attacks on civilians, there have not been and will not be. I have no reason not to believe him. I believe that if he says so, it is so. Any information that will be received on this topic should be perceived as a KGB provocation by the Kremlin. Of course, this will be the main line of the Russian media. We must not succumb to this and join the general choir of the Kremlin's sing-alongs. People in the RDK are normal, reasonable and would never do such a thing.
As for the position of the Congress of People's Deputies, the Legion "Freedom of Russia" and my personal one, it is simple: we are at war, the war has rules, and these rules are written in international documents and declarations. The key is that you can not attack the civilian population, you can not commit actions that do not have a military meaning, as a result of which the innocent suffer. The Congress of People's Deputies adopted a special act on the resistance movement on this subject, in which it prescribed all these documents and very clearly established what could be done and what could not. I hope that the RDK will not go beyond these limits in their actions, and I have no reason to believe that they do so yet.
It is obvious that such actions will still be. War will come to Russia, and there is nothing to discuss here. The only question is when and in what form it will be. Actions in Russia must begin when there is an attack on the Crimea from Ukraine, that is, in the final stage of the operation. Because it is necessary to achieve a change of power in the country, but at the same time not to allow the Putin regime to carry out public mobilization. So far, there is no feeling of the beginning of the end in Russia, and in this situation, mobilization is possible.”
One of the fighters of the Russian Volunteer Corps, on condition of anonymity, told Important Stories that a total of 45 people participated in the operation:
“I just came from there. There were 45 of us on this task. We went in, filmed, ambushed two BMPs. I didn't see any children. But there was one injured border guard. No hostages were taken."
Journalists identified four people in two RDC videos released after the operation.
One of the fighters in the first video is Denis Nikitin (real name Kapustin) , known among ultra-right nationalists under the nickname Denis White Rex, he is the commander of the Russian Volunteer Corps. In the video, he is wearing a white helmet (on the left), he is holding a Romanian RA 86 machine gun in his hands. Romania has never officially delivered such machine guns to Ukraine, apparently, this is a private weapon.
“We don't fight civilians, we don't kill unarmed people, keep that in mind. Now it's time for ordinary citizens to understand that they are not slaves, ”he says on camera . Kapustin was identified by " Agency ", " Siren " and " Vot Tak ". On March 2, Kapustin posted a story on Instagram with his photo against the background of weapons and the caption “Gulnuli” and wrote in his channel:
"I never thought that the border of the Russian Federation, also in the war, is as full of holes as the Z-patriots."
In the past, Kapustin is a football fan, participated in fights for CSKA, organized mixed martial arts tournaments. He moved as a child from Moscow with his family and received a permanent residence permit as a "refugee of Jewish origin". In October 2018, he was detained by the Ukrainian special services. According to Spiegel, Kapustin was suspected of producing amphetamines.
In January, a Volgograd court blocked an interview with Kapustin on YouTube in which he stated that he was fighting as part of the Russian Volunteer Corps on the side of Ukraine.
The man with the flag in the video next to Kapustin is the chief of staff of the Russian Volunteer Corps, call sign Fortuna . He was identified by "That's So".
The second video of the RDK shows the nationalist Kirill Kanakhin (pseudonym Kirill Rodonsky), known by the call sign Solar cross (he is in green camouflage).
Solar cross runs a Telegram channel of the same name and writes right-wing poetry. On March 2, he published a post with the words: “Stop feeding Moscow! Bryansk wants freedom!”
The man with the long beard in the video next to Kanakhin is Oswald Lemokh from the Yaroslavl Region ( identified by Baza). According to the Telegram channel, he adheres to right-wing views, worked in the security sector in the past and lived in Moscow until 2018, after which he moved to Ukraine. Judging by the photo from Lemokh's Instagram, he was also a supporter of the opposition leader Alexei Navalny.