No evidence that Russia is pulling out of Ukraine, as this Facebook post claims

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Russian forces have faced mounting setbacks in Ukraine since fighting began six months ago. The soldiers faced strong Ukrainian resistance and would deal with serious staff shortages while the US Department of Defense estimates that the number of Russian soldiers injured or killed is up to 80,000.

Now a Facebook post claims that President Vladimir Putin is ordering the complete withdrawal of troops from the country.

“Ukraine has succeeded,” reads the September 3 post. “The Russian army is withdrawing from Ukraine!

The post features an eight-minute video with what sounds like a computer-generated voice narrating military footage. The narration is about Putin planning an emergency meeting with Russian officials in the Kremlin and admitting to losing the war in Ukraine.

“(Putin) said out loud: ‘We are losing the war, everyone wake up, pack their bags, we have no choice but to win this war’”, says the narrator. “Authorities who heard these words from Putin were shot.”

The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat fake news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Learn more about our partnership with facebook.)

The video is similar to ones we’ve seen elsewhere on Facebook that use the war in Ukraine to spread misinformation about the conflict in order to increase page views.

We found no news reports to support the message’s claims about Russia’s withdrawal or the assassination of politicians. In fact, there have been stories of Russia pushing further into the country.

There have been previous reports of Russian withdrawals from parts of Ukraine, such as the Kharkov city and snake islandbut nothing on a total retreat.

The Ukrainian army declared on September 7 Facebook post that Russian forces pushed further inland from eastern Ukraine. Russia has gained a foothold in the eastern region of Ukraine and part of its southeastern coast since the start of the invasion.

A withdrawal from the area is unlikely, according to a meeting Andrei Kelin, Russia’s ambassador to the UK, told Reuters in July.

Putin has never publicly declared that the invasion of Ukraine was a failure. After this Facebook post was published, Putin delivered a speech from September 7 in which he declared that the army would continue its invasion of Ukraine.

Our decision

A Facebook post and video claim that Russia is ending its conflict with Ukraine and withdrawing from the country. He also claimed that Putin admitted Russia was losing the war and ordered politicians he told this to shoot.

There is no evidence to support this.

We rate this claim as false.


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