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Andy Nguyen
By Andy Nguyen September 8, 2022

No evidence Russia is withdrawing from Ukraine, as this Facebook post claims

If Your Time is short

  • 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.

Featured Fact-check

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.

There have been previous reports of Russian withdrawals from parts of Ukraine, such as the city of Kharkiv and Snake Island, but nothing about a total retreat.

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. 

Our ruling

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.

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No evidence Russia is withdrawing from Ukraine, as this Facebook post claims

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