Moscow claims it has routed fighters who crossed the border from Ukraine in what appears to be one of the biggest incursions of its kind in the 15-month-old war.
The Russian military said it killed over 70 “Ukrainian nationalists” and destroyed four armored vehicles.
The two days of fighting had forced Russia to evacuate towns along the Ukrainian border. Russia has blamed Ukraine for the attack, which Kyiv denied.
The two groups that claimed responsibility – Liberty of Russia Legion and Russian Volunteer Corps (RVC) – describe themselves as Russian armed dissidents.