Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) on Monday revealed it killed four Ukrainian saboteurs after they tried to cross into Russian territory.
The FSB said that the “saboteurs” were carrying German submachine guns, navigation equipment and “four improvised explosive devices” when they attempted to cross into the Russian border region of Bryansk from Ukraine.
“As a result of a clash on December 25, 2022, four saboteurs, who attempted to enter the territory of the Bryansk region from Ukraine, were killed,” the FSB said in a statement released to Russian news agencies, as per translations from The Moscow Times.
A video later shared by Russian media outlets and social media users and attributed to the FSB showed several bloodied bodies on the ground, wearing winter camouflage. Some of the bodies had guns near them.
The International Business Times could not independently verify the authenticity of the video.
The FSB’s statement comes nearly a week after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the country’s security agencies to step up their hunt for “traitors, spies and saboteurs” and respond to “new threats and challenges.”
“The counterintelligence agencies, including the military ones, need to show utmost readiness and concentration. It is necessary to put a firm stop to the activities of foreign special services, and to promptly identify traitors, spies and diversionists,” Putin said.
“The FSB Border Guard Service must step up its work. The state border is the most important, key boundary for ensuring the country’s security, and it must be guarded safely. Attempts to break it must be prevented promptly and efficiently using the existing capacities and tools, including mobile and special task units,” he added.
Last month, FSB agents took out “three active pro-Ukrainian nationalist ideology supporters” in an operation in the border city of Voronezh.
The “saboteurs,” however, were later identified to be gamers wearing imitation gear from the video game “S.T.A.L.K.E.R” rather than Ukrainian agents. The survival horror video game is set in a fictionalized version of Ukraine’s Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.