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- There have been no reports that Russia is withdrawing from Ukraine.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin said during a Sept. 7 speech, after this post was made, that Russia’s forces will continue to push farther into the country.
- The U.S. Defense Department estimates that about 80,000 Russian soldiers have been wounded or killed in the conflict since it began.
Russian forces have faced mounting setbacks in Ukraine since fighting began six months ago. The military faced stiff Ukrainian resistance and is reportedly dealing with severe personnel shortages as the U.S. Defense Department estimates the number of Russian soldiers wounded or killed to be as high as 80,000.
Now a Facebook post claims Russian President Vladimir Putin is ordering the complete withdrawal of troops from the country.
"Ukraine has succeeded," the Sept. 3 post reads. "The Russian army is withdrawing from Ukraine!"
The post features an eight-minute video with what sounds like a computer-generated voice narrating over military footage. The narration talks about Putin scheduling an emergency meeting with Russian officials at the Kremlin and admitting to losing the war in Ukraine.
"(Putin) said loudly, ‘We are losing the war, everybody wake up, pack up, we have no choice but to win this war,’" the narrator says. "The authorities who heard these words of Putin were shot."
The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
The video is similar to ones we have seen elsewhere on Facebook that use the war in Ukraine to spread misinformation about the conflict to drive up page views.
We were unable to find any news stories corroborating the post’s claims about Russia withdrawing or politicians being shot. In fact, there have been stories about Russia pushing farther into the country.
The Ukrainian military said in a Sept. 7 Facebook post that Russian forces have been pushing farther inland into the country from eastern Ukraine. Russia has had a foothold on Ukraine’s eastern region and a swath of its southeastern coastline since the invasion began.
A withdrawal from the area is unlikely, Andrei Kelin, Russia’s ambassador to the United Kingdom, told Reuters in an interview in July.
Putin has never publicly said the invasion of Ukraine has been a failure. After this Facebook post was made, Putin delivered a Sept. 7 speech in which he said the military will continue with its invasion of Ukraine.
A Facebook post and video claims Russia is ending its conflict with Ukraine and withdrawing from the country. It also claimed Putin admitted that Russia was losing the war and ordered politicians he told this to shot.
There is no evidence to support this.
We rate this claim False.
Violet, Facebook post, Sept. 3, 2022
Associated Press, "Ukrainian resistance grows in Russian-occupied areas," Aug. 9, 2022
Associated Press, "US: Russian military facing ‘severe manpower shortages,'" Aug. 31, 2022
The New York Times, "Heavy Losses Leave Russia Short of Its Goal, U.S. Officials Say," Aug. 11, 2022
PolitiFact, "Case study: How Facebook pages exploit Russia’s war in Ukraine with false videos," July 27, 2022
Associated Press, "Ukraine: Russians withdraw from around Kharkiv, batter east," May 14, 2022
The Washington Post, "Russian forces withdraw from Ukraine’s Snake Island," June 30, 2022
General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Facebook post, Sept. 7, 2022
Reuters, "Russian forces unlikely to leave southern Ukraine, ambassador says," July 9, 2022
The Washington Post, "Putin, in defiant speech, threatens Western gas and grain supplies," Sept. 7, 2022
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