Russia rapidly retracts retreat announcement, Ukraine says fake announcement was disinformation move

Dam destroyed by Russians near Nova Kakhovka
Dam destroyed by Russians near Nova Kakhovka

The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) stated that it had decided to “reposition troops to more advantageous positions” near the Dnipro River on the left bank of Kherson Oblast, reported Russian media. Within minutes, they retracted this statement.

Kremlin propaganda agencies wrote on Nov. 13 that the Russian Ministry of Defense had decided to “reposition troops to more advantageous positions to the east of the Dnipro” to allegedly use them for “advances in other directions.”

Russian media cited reports from RIA Novosti and TASS.

However, within minutes, the TASS Telegram channel stated that they released it “by mistake,” and the news is “canceled.” The information about troop repositioning disappeared from the RIA Novosti channel as well, and in its place, a message saying “canceled” appeared on the website.

Reactions from the MoD and the Kremlin

The MoD has labeled the report of supposed “repositioning” of its troops near the Dnipro on the left bank of Kherson Oblast as a “provocation.”

Read also: Ukrainian armored vehicles likely brought to Dnipro left bank bridgehead in Kherson Oblast

“The dissemination of false information about the ‘repositioning’ of troops in the Dnipro region allegedly on behalf of the press center of the Russian Ministry of Defense is a provocation,” stated the aggressor country’s ministry.

In response to inquiries about the canceled announcements of the “repositioning” of Russian troops near the Dnipro, the Kremlin redirected questions to the MoD.

“You know that we do not comment on the course of events directly on the battlefield of a special military operation. This is still the prerogative of specialists, professionals – our military. In this case, too, we believe that the situation can and should be commented on only by our military,” said Dmitry Peskov, the spokesperson for the Russian dictator.

“Informational Operation”

The National Resistance Center of Ukraine (NRC) reported that Russians are conducting an informational operation against Ukraine, and the announced “troop repositioning” is currently not confirmed.

The NRC emphasized that the announcement of the withdrawal of Russian troops from temporarily occupied territories in Kherson Oblast marked the beginning of a Russian propaganda operation aimed at diverting the attention of the Ukrainian military.

The NRC refers to local residents, according to whom there are currently no corresponding movements of enemy troops.

At the same time, they expressed the belief that the departure of Russian troops from Kherson is “a matter of time,” characterizing the Russian move as a “premature release.”

What is happening on the left bank of Kherson Oblast?

Read also: Russian forces attempt to prevent Ukrainian troops from gaining foothold in Kherson Oblast – ISW report

Since mid-October, the U.S.-based think tank Institute for the Study of War (ISW) has reported on the successes of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and advancements on the left bank of Kherson Oblast. They reported a breakthrough across the Dnipro to the occupied part of the region near the village of Oleshkivska. At the time, judging by the reaction of Russian “war correspondents,” this operation could be more significant than previous similar raids by the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

At the end of October, analysts reported Ukrainian advancement to the village of Krynky, and on Nov. 10, there was speculation about the possible expansion of the bridgehead and the cutting of the vital road from Nova Kakhovka to Oleshky.

The Ukrainian Armed Forces officially refuse to comment on these reports, stating only that the combat work of Ukrainian soldiers continues.

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