'False flag' fears after Russia shockingly claims Ukrainians have flooded over border…as Putin 'to hold crisis meeting' | The Sun

RUSSIA has shockingly claimed Ukrainians have flooded over the border amid fears Moscow is staging a false flag operation.

Vladimir Putin is set to hold an emergency meeting amid unfounded claims a Ukrainian sabotage group had taken hostages in the Bryansk region.

Moscow claimed a group of up to 50 Ukrainian fighters were inside Russia, with Kyiv armoured vehicles at the frontier.

Other Russian outlets claimed 80 Ukrainians were involved. 

The FSB security service said in a statement to Russian news agencies that its own forces and the army were trying to liquidate what it described as "an armed group of Ukrainian nationalists" who had crossed the border.

There has been no immediate proof of a Ukrainian incursion, however, following a flood of reports on Russian pro-war media outlets. 

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Ukrainian colonel Anatoly Shtefan – known as Shtyrlitz – accused the Russians of a provocation. 

He said: "The Russian mass media are once again trying to discredit the Armed Forces of Ukraine and accuse them of provocations on the territory of the aggressor state.

“But they do not take into account the fact that soldiers of the Defence Forces of Ukraine have never resorted to provocations, are not resorting to them now – and will not resort to provocations.”

Putin is set to hold an emergency meeting of his security council amid claims of an alleged incursion.

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Russia's FSB said: “In the Klimovskiy district of the Bryansk region, the Russian Federal Security Service [FSB] and attached forces of the Russian Ministry of Defence are taking action to eliminate armed Ukrainian nationalists who have violated the state border.”

Bryansk governor Alexander Bogomaz first made the claims of an incursion, alleging that the Ukrainians had shot and killed one person.

He said on Telegram: "Today, a Ukrainian sabotage and reconnaissance group penetrated the Klimovsky district in the village of Lubechanye.

"Saboteurs fired on a moving car. As a result of the attack, one resident was killed and a ten-year-old child was wounded."

He said Ukrainian armed forces had launched a drone attack and fired artillery shells at other areas near the border.

British military intelligence said on Wednesday that Russia was launching drone attacks against Ukraine from the Bryansk region, which lies to the north of Ukraine and is closer to the capital Kyiv than other launch sites.

Russia's state TASS news agency said the Ukrainians had infiltrated two villages, taking local residents hostage in one of them. The RIA news agency said several people had been taken hostage in a store in the village of Lubechanye, less than one kilometre from Russia's border with Ukraine.

Russia has accused Ukrainian saboteurs of infiltrating Bryansk before.

In December, the FSB security service said a four-person Ukrainian "sabotage group" had been "liquidated" while trying to enter Bryansk.

Fears of a false flag operation come amid claims Putin could be preparing to unleash a new offensive in Ukraine.

Ukrainian defenders are bracing for an assault that could include 1,800 tanks, 3,950 armoured vehicles, 400 fighter jets and 300 helicopters incoming from Russia.

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Putin is desperate to achieve something after a bruising first year which has seen his forces thrown back.

Ukraine fear the next few weeks will be crucial for the conflict as they continue to call for weapons from the West.

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