Russian President Putin cancels domestic trip amid reports of border attack: Kremlin

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Vladimir Putin scrapped plans to travel to southern Russia Thursday amid what the Kremlin called an “attack on the border with Ukraine.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the president was receiving regular reports on the events from top security officials. The Federal Security Service said earlier its forces, together with the military, were repelling what it said was an attack by “armed Ukrainian nationalists in a border area of the Bryansk Region.”

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Peskov said Putin plans to hold a regular meeting of his Security Council on Friday, denying reports in some Russian media that a special session had been scheduled Thursday to discuss the events.

Putin will hold the meeting with teachers he’d planned to conduct in the southern city of Pyatigorsk by video conference Thursday, Peskov said.

Russian state news agencies offered conflicting accounts of the events in the border area near Ukraine Thursday, with some reporting casualties among civilians blamed on unidentified attackers, who numbered in the dozens.

Ukraine dismissed the claims as a Russian “provocation aimed at building public support for the invasion.”

Ukraine’s Northern Military Command warned on February 23 that intelligence reports showed sightings of troops without insignia and wearing uniforms similar to Ukrainian ones in Russia’s Bryansk region close to the border.

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