FACT CHECK: Russia Claims Not A ‘Single Piece Of Military Equipment’ Was Left Behind In Kherson Retreat

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

The Russian Defense Ministry claimed Nov. 11 that “not a single piece of military equipment or weapons have been left on the right bank” of the Dnipro River.

Verdict: False

Visual evidence shows the Russian military left equipment behind in the area. Experts and open-source intelligence (OSINT) accounts that track the conflict said the claim was false.

Fact Check:

Russian troops completed its withdrawal of troops and vehicles from the west bank of the Dnipro on Nov. 11, leading Ukraine to retake Kherson City and other settlements, according to BBC News. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called the liberation of the territory “the beginning of the end,” The Associated Press reported.

The Russian Defense Ministry claimed in a Nov. 11 statement that “not a single piece of military equipment and weapons was left on the right bank” of the Dnipro River. The right bank of the Dnipro River is the western part of the river, according to Encyclopedia Britannica.

This claim is false. Social media footage shows several Russian vehicles captured by the Ukrainians in Kherson, such as T-62 tanks, a BMD-2 infantry fighting vehicle, a truck carrying ammunition, a MT-LB armored personnel carrier, among others. The Sun published a video showing a Russian warehouse full of ammunition seized by the Ukrainians in the Kherson region after the withdrawal.

“Reuters reporters on Friday saw a warehouse full of mortar shells and boxes containing ammunition left behind by Russian troops in a village of Blahodatne, 20 km (12 miles) north of Kherson,” partially reads the description. Reuters reported on mortar shells being left behind in the village during the Russian retreat.

OSINT account @UAWeaponsTracker said in an email to Check Your Fact that the “claim is blatantly and obviously false given the visual evidence.” (RELATED: Video Claims Ukraine’ Disabled’ Two More Russian Gunboats)

“There is no binary answer. I believe they managed to move most of the working equipment to the left bank,” OSINT account @DefMon3 told Check Your Fact via email. “A lot of what we will see left behind will probably have been damaged. It is still too early to tell, but everything I see indicate we are seeing a successful retreat. A few losses during the last few days are unavoidable.”

Jacob Taylor, a spokesperson for the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), said the claim was “inaccurate” though cautioned it was not known how much equipment was left behind. Taylor also pointed Check Your Fact to ISW’s Nov. 12 campaign assessment.

“Social media footage showed that Russian forces have abandoned some military equipment like helicopters and armored vehicles, despite the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) claims that Russian forces transferred 5,000 pieces of weaponry to the left (eastern) bank,” the assessment reads.

The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense also commented on Russia’s claim on Twitter by sharing a video of recently captured Russian vehicles and ammunition. (RELATED: Does This Photo Show A Gepard Tank Firing At The Sky In Ukraine?)

 

“[R]ussian ministry of defense: “No weapons and equipment left on the right bank.” Are you sure? There ain’t nothing to tell you, sir, except just one little matter,” the tweet reads.

Check Your Fact also reached out to the Russian Ministry of Defense and will update this article if a response is provided.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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