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Russian defectors fighting for Ukraine are attacking their motherland and rolling across the border in tanks: reports

Representatives of the Freedom of Russia Legion and the Russian Volunteer Corps holding a briefing near the border in northern Ukraine last year.
Representatives of the Freedom of Russia Legion and the Russian Volunteer Corps holding a briefing near the border in northern Ukraine last year.Vyacheslav Madiyevskyy/Future Publishing via Getty Images
  • Paramilitary groups comprising Russian defectors attacked their own country on Tuesday.

  • One group, the Freedom of Russia Legion said they were there to liberate their countrymen.

  • A spokesperson for Ukraine's military intelligence said the groups were acting independently.

Armed groups of Russian defectors attacked their homeland on Tuesday ahead of the upcoming Russian presidential elections.

On Tuesday morning, paramilitary groups including the Freedom of Russia Legion and the Siberian Battalion said they were launching a joint attack across Russia's borders, per The Telegraph. Russia's presidential elections are set to be held on March 15 to 17, with incumbent Russian leader Vladimir Putin all but certain to secure his reelection.

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"We are not coming to kill, erase, or punish," the Freedom of Russia Legion said in a video statement, per the Kyiv Post.

"We come to live, to liberate you from poverty, from the dictatorship of a terrorist organization that seized power, to give your children a normal civilized future — without sanctions, without repression, without elections without choice," the video statement continued.