Denis Kapustin - who called himself the commander of the Russian Volunteer Corps - spoke to reporters Wednesday on the Ukrainian border with Russia, a day after Moscow announced that it had repelled a 24-hour-long attack on Russia's Belgorod Region.
"Every operation that occurs on the territory in Russia forces the military to move a large number of forces exactly to that quadrant. This reveals some parts of the front, parts border," he said.
Local Russian media reported Thursday that 200 houses were destroyed and 500 were damaged. Media reports indicate that residents who fled their homes in Belgorod are still not returning to certain areas. Authorities are working to identify mines and make them safe in the Grayvoron district of the region.
The Russian military claimed that it had routed the raiders using artillery and aerial attacks that killed over 70 "Ukrainian Nationalists" in a sabotage operation designed to divert attention from Russia's gains made in the bombed-out city of Bakhmut.
The Anti-Defamation League in the United States has described Kapustin as a "Russian neo-Nazi". His audacious raid across the border has embarrassed the Kremlin but also raised questions about the involvement of far-right Russian nationalism in Ukraine.
"I have a set of opinions, it is a patriotic, traditionalist, right-wing, set of opinions. You'll never see me raise my hand to make a Hitler salute or wave a flag with the swastika. Why would you call me this?"
Kapustin refused to directly answer questions about media reports that his fighters used US military equipment during the raid on Russian soil - equipment provided by the US to Ukraine to defend themselves against Russia's invasion.
"I know where I got my guns from."He said, "Unfortunately, not from Western partners."He said that Russia had captured Western military equipment in the battle of Bakhmut and that this equipment could be purchased on the black market.
"I believe I explained that Western military aid goes back and forth being raided."I know, for example, that the Russians raided a lot of American armored vehicles in Bakhmut," he said.
"It's no secret that these weapons are being used against our military." It is no secret to us that the direct or indirect involvement of Western nations in this conflict is increasing. Dmitry Peskov, Kremlin's spokesperson, told reporters that the Kremlin was drawing the right conclusions.