Ukraine War: Russia's Military 'Spreading Misinformation' About Its Attacks, UK Says

It could be an attempt to "imply that the Russia operation is sustaining momentum".
Russian president Vladimir Putin
Russian president Vladimir Putin
via Associated Press

Russia could be “deliberately spreading misinformation” to suggest its efforts in the Ukraine war are “sustaining momentum”, UK intelligence has said.

Moscow struggled to make any real gains over the autumn, especially as Kyiv’s successful counteroffensive saw troops reclaim vast areas of Ukrainian land from Russia in the east.

Russia did manage to seize Soledar recently, a small town in the Donbas region, after a period of intense and bloody battle.

The Ukrainian government only confirmed it this week though, while Russian forces had been claiming victory over the area for some time.

Now the UK’s Ministry of Defence has suggested that the Kremlin has been “deliberately” putting out misleading details about other parts of the war, too.

In its daily update on Friday, the MoD claimed: “Over the last six days, Russian online commentators have claimed Russian forces have made significant advances, breaking through Ukrainian defences in two areas: in Zaporizhzhia Oblast near Orikiv and 100km to the east in Donetsk Oblast, near Vuhledar.”

The UN’s nuclear watchdog has reported blasts near the Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia which is also the site of a nuclear power plant – meaning any attacks around that area trigger fears of an accident.

Vuhledar has also been the site of intense fighting over recent weeks, but as Serhii Cherevatyi, spokesperson for the Eastern Operational Command of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said: “The enemy is indeed trying to achieve an intermediate success there, but thanks to the efforts of our defenders, they are unsuccessful.”

The MoD also concluded: “Russian units have probably conducted local, probing attacks near Orikiv and Vuhledar, but it is highly unlikely that Russia has actually achieved any substantial advances.

“There is a realistic possibility that Russian military sources are deliberately spreading misinformation in an effort to imply that the Russian operation is sustaining momentum.”

The Kremlin is no stranger to spreading misinformation, having refused to call its invasion of Ukraine a war for months, instead referring to it as “a special military operation”.

It also made baseless claims that this was an essential “operation” to weed out the Neo-Nazis at the top of the Ukrainian government.

Meanwhile, Ukraine has reiterated its message that Russia can be defeated – especially after finally getting its request for military tanks from Western allies approved this week.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Friday: “This Russian aggression can and should be stopped only with adequate weapons.

“The terrorist state will not understand anything else. Weapons on the battlefield, weapons that protect our skies.”

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