RIA Novosti, a Russian state-run news outlet, published an article saying Ukraine lost to Russia.
"Ukraine has returned to Russia," said the article, which has since been removed.
Ukraine and Russia are still in conflict.
A Russian state-run news agency prematurely published an article that said Russia has taken back Ukraine.
"Ukraine has returned to Russia," said the article, which ran on RIA Novosti and has since been taken down. "The West sees the return of Russia to its historical borders in Europe."
—Julia Davis (@JuliaDavisNews) February 28, 2022
The article praised the "return" of Ukraine to it's "natural state" as part of Russia.
"The period of the split of the Russian people is coming to an end," the article reads. "Did someone in the old European capitals, in Paris and Berlin, seriously believe that Moscow would give up Kiev? That the Russians will forever be a divided people?"
Last week, during a speech where he announced Russia would recognize two eastern provinces of Ukraine as independent states, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Ukraine has been a part of Russia since "time immemorial." But Ukraine and Russia have long been in what Poynter called "an extended tug-of-war over religion, language and political control."
Ukraine is still in conflict with Russia. The US State Department on Monday accused Russia of "widespread" human rights abuses in Ukraine as its troops reportedly fired missiles at civilian areas.
The RIA Novosti article — a copy of which can be seen on the WayBack Machine, a tool that documents changes across websites over time — also praised the "new era" of the "Russian World" with Russia, Belarus and Ukraine united a whole.
"The West as a whole, and even more so Europe in particular, did not have the strength to keep Ukraine in its sphere of influence," the article reads. "In order not to understand this, one had to be just geopolitical fools."
The article had an 8 a.m. timestamp and was scheduled to run on February 26, according to the archive.
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