A Russian white nationalist and the leader of a far-right militia involved in a raid inside Russia claimed that his group employed US armored vehicles during the attack. Denis Nikitin, also known as Denis Kapustin, the head of the Russian Volunteer Corps, made this assertion, which is supported by photographic evidence, in an interview with the Financial Times.
Denis Nikitin, the leader of the Russian Volunteer Corps, acknowledged that his group had a collection of US military vehicles, which included armored trucks and Humvees. Although the Ukrainian government has denied involvement in the raid, a Ukrainian military official reportedly admitted to “cooperating” with such groups.
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The Russian white nationalist has been identified by the Anti-Defamation League as a “Russian neo-Nazi” who has affiliations with Ukraine’s far-right Azov movement. During a previous raid in Russia, Nikitin used his fashion brand’s Telegram channel to refer to his adversaries as “the multi-racial and imperialistic Putin regime,” as per the Telegraph’s report.
The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense has not yet responded to requests for comment regarding the allegations made by Nikitin. Videos and photos posted from within Russia indicate the presence of US military vehicles, suggesting their utilization during the daring raid in the Belgorod region near the Ukrainian border. Russian authorities confirmed that they repelled the attack, attributing it to a “sabotage-reconnaissance group” that employed American military hardware and resulted in the evacuation of hundreds of civilians.
Under the conditions of US military assistance to Ukraine, the transfer of American military equipment to a third party is strictly forbidden. General Pat Ryder, the Pentagon spokesperson, acknowledged during a press briefing that they were aware of the reports, but could not verify the utilization of American machinery, such as the M1224 MaxxPro armored vehicles, in the attack.
The State Department, Ukraine has received over 500 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles, including the M1224, and more than 2,000 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (Humvees) since January 2021.
General Ryder emphasized that the US government had not approved any transfers of equipment to paramilitary organizations outside the Ukrainian Armed Forces and that no such requests had been made by the Ukrainian government. However, he acknowledged that this was a matter of concern that the US would closely monitor.