Results of the foray
In the attack, 14 civilians were injured (including, possibly, because of Russian shelling of Grayvoron). At least one defender of the border checkpoint died – Yuri Gaevoi, the commander of the Preobrazhensky Self-Defense Battalion
, who technically did not have military status. He was shot dead by the attackers, as in their words he “got caught in the middle.
In the regional governor’s address on the day of the incident, it was reported
that there were no civilian casualties, though there was no mention of casualties among soldiers. Moreover, there has been indirect evidence
that there were military losses, but so far only a few wounded are known. One of the border guards was captured by the attackers.
At least one Russian armored personnel carrier was captured and sent back to Ukraine. A Ukrainian missile shot down a helicopter over the region, which had taken off to repel the attack. The shelling also destroyed two Russian military trucks and an artillery piece.
According to their own information
, the losses of the attackers included two killed and 10 wounded. According to official Russian information
, 70 attackers were killed, though there are no photos or videos to confirm this. But there is a video
with at least five destroyed American light armored vehicles and a pickup truck at the scene.Plan for the raid as told by the attackers
One of the saboteurs, in an interview
with the Russian oppositional newspaper Novaya Gazeta
, said that as planned the action had failed. Many of the vehicles that the attackers were driving got bogged down in the mud that had appeared in the fields after rain.
Thus, a smaller than planned force took part in the attack. The forward units that made their way to Grayvoron did not receive reinforcements and therefore could not capture the administrative center as planned. Supposedly, after its capture, the detachments that crossed the border were supposed to hold it against Russian attacks. If this is true, then Grayvoron and the surrounding villages, located in a kind of pocket on the border, surrounded by Ukrainian territory on three sides, could indeed have been a springboard for the Ukrainian army. In that case, they could have ensured effective missile and artillery support from Ukrainian territory and have closed the sky above them with air defense.How is this foray different from previous ones?
By the standards of the ongoing war, this episode could have been considered an ordinary foray, which, until the stabilization of the front in November last year, took place in the combat zone several times a week. However, the incident has attracted the attention of the media, the authorities and the public in both warring countries.
Firstly, this is indeed the first major incursion into internationally recognized Russian territory by the Ukrainian military. The RDK’s previous raids (mainly in Bryansk Region) had been carried out by small groups of up to two dozen militants. Having made their way through the forest to some Russian village in the border zone, they usually took some pictures at a sign on the road, handed out leaflets in the village and hid immediately after the appearance of reinforced groups of Russian border guards and the military.
True, in the first foray, undertaken, as mentioned above, on March 2, two civilians were killed when passing by in cars (the driver who was taking children to school died
Secondly, for the first time the detachments, which included Russian citizens, put up a real battle on Russian territory. Ukrainian servicemen and politicians tried to present this as “the beginning of the real liberation of Russia” by Russian citizens.