FACT CHECK: Did Russia Withdraw From Crimea?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

A video shared on Facebook claims Russian forces have withdrawn from the disputed island of Crimea.

Verdict: False

The Russians have not withdrawn from Crimea. However, Russia has withdrawn troops from other regions in Ukraine.

Fact Check:

Ukrainian forces launched a counter-offensive last week, leading to Russian forces withdrawing from the Kharkiv Oblast, according to CNBC. The Ukrainians have also made gains in the Kherson region, which is located in the southern portion of the country, the outlet reported.

The Facebook video, viewed more than 27,000 times, claims that “Russia withdraws from Crimea.” The video is narrated and features clips of different vehicles and military hardware. (RELATED: Did The Ukrainian Navy Destroy 13 Russian Warships In One Strike?)

There is no evidence that the Russians have withdrawn from Crimea. Neither the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense or the Russian Ministry of Defense have announced the withdrawal of Russian forces from Crimea. Likewise, there are no credible news reports suggesting troops have left the area.

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW), a U.S. think tank, has not reported that the Russians have withdrawn from Crimea. In its Sept. 8 campaign assessment, ISW reported that “social media users published footage showing smoke at the Saky Air Base in western Crimea and a cloud of smoke in Yevpatoria,” located in Crimea.

OSINTtechnical, an open-source Twitter account that tracks the Ukrainian conflict, published footage of a Russian helicopter flying across the Crimean coastline near Sudak Bay.

Misinformation around the Russian-Ukrainian conflict is not new. Check Your Fact recently debunked a claim that the Russians stopped all attacks in Ukraine.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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