- US military vehicles were used in a raid this week inside Russia, the Financial Times reported.
- The leader of a far-right militia, the Russian Volunteer Corps, boasted that he had several American vehicles.
- A Pentagon spokesman told reporters that Washington was aware of but could not confirm this claim.
The leader of a far-right militia that took part in a shocking raid this week inside Russia claimed on Tuesday that his group used US armored vehicles in the attack, a claim that appears to be backed up by evidence. photographic evidence.
Speaking to the Financial Times, Denis Nikitin (also known as Denis Kapustin), head of the Russian volunteer corps, said his group had in its possession a number of US military vehicles, including armored trucks and Humvees. Although the Ukrainian government has denied any role in Monday’s raid – carried out in collaboration with another group, the Liberty of Russian Legion, which is considered more common – a Ukrainian military official told The Times that Kiev had indeed “cooperated with such groups.
Nikitin is described by the Anti-Defamation League as “a Russian neo-Nazi” with ties to Ukraine’s far-right Azov movement. After an earlier raid in Russia, Nikitin, via her fashion brand’s Telegram channel, described her enemy as “Putin’s multiracial and imperialist regime”, the Telegraph reported.
Ukraine’s Defense Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
According to the Times, US military vehicles could be seen in videos and photos posted from Russia, where they appear to have been used in the daring raid on the Belgorod region near the border with Ukraine. This raid led to the evacuation of hundreds of civilians in the area, according to the Russian authorities who indicated on Tuesday that they repelled the attack, attributed to a “sabotage-reconnaissance group” using American military equipment.
Under the terms of US military assistance, Ukraine is strictly prohibited from transferring US military equipment to a third party. At a Tuesday afternoon press briefing, Pentagon spokesman General Pat Ryder told reporters that the United States was aware of but could not confirm reports that American machines, including M1224 MaxxPro armored vehicles, had been used in the attack.
Since January 2021, the United States has provided Ukraine with more than 500 mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles, according to the State Department, a class that includes the M1224. It also provided over 2,000 high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles, or Humvees.
“I will say that we can confirm that the US government has not approved any transfers of equipment by third parties to paramilitary organizations outside of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, and that the Ukrainian government has not requested such transfers,” he said. said Ryder. That said, “it’s something we’ll be watching closely.”
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