Chechen fighters have been deployed in Russia's Belgorod region bordering Ukraine to prevent attacks from "Ukrainian sabotage groups," Chechnya ruler Ramzan Kadyrov said on Thursday.
Belgorod region has in the past month reported a series of cross-border incursions from pro-Ukraine Russian partisan groups calling themselves opponents of President Vladimir Putin.
Kadyrov, a Putin ally who leads the Russian region of Chechnya, said that fighters from the "Zapad-Akhmat" battalion had been deployed near the border village of Nekhoteevka and a checkpoint in Graivoron district, the site of a cross-border attack in May.
'Whoever encroaches on our borders will receive a lightning response'
"Residents of the territories adjacent to the border with Ukraine can rest easy ... Whoever encroaches on our borders will receive a lightning response," Kadyrov said in a post on Telegram messaging app.
Ukraine denies involvement in the cross-border attacks, casting them as a direct consequence of Russia's February 2022 invasion.