The Washington Post

Incursion boosts pressure on Putin

- — Robyn Dixon, Mary Ilyushina

More than 24 hours after a strange incursion near the Russia-ukraine border that President Vladimir Putin labeled a “terrorist attack,” there was no new clarity about the incident, in which authoritie­s said two people were killed.

But that did not prevent government officials and propagandi­sts Friday from seizing on the episode, in the Bryansk region of western Russia, to buttress their own positions, starting with Putin, who, along with state TV commentato­rs, fanned Russians’ fears of terrorist attacks.

Pro-war hard-liners called for revenge and a tougher approach.

Russia’s Federal Security Service released video footage Friday of two vehicles and inert drivers, claiming they were the victims killed by fighters. The video and the deaths could not be independen­tly verified.

Ukraine denied responsibi­lity for the attack, insisting that it was a sign of internal strife in Russia and rising anti-putin sentiment exacerbate­d by Russia’s war in Ukraine.

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