FACT CHECK: Did Russia Collapse ‘In Seconds’?
A video shared on Facebook claims Russia collapsed “in seconds” and that Ukraine exposed a breakthrough in the Russian army.
There is no evidence that Russia collapsed. Ukraine, while having offensive successes against the Russians in 2022, has not made a major breakthrough this year.
The Russian military recently resumed its attack on Soledar, a town located in Ukraine’s Donbas region, according to The Guardian. The assault on the region has been largely “spearheaded” by Russia’s Wagner mercenary group, the outlet reported.
The Facebook video, viewed more than 27,000 times, claims that Russia “collapsed” within seconds and that Ukraine “opened a big hole in Russian army.” The video’s caption reads, “PUTIN SHOCKED ! Russia Collapsed in SECONDS! Ukrainian army Opened BIG HoLE in Russian Army!”
There is no evidence that Russia has collapsed. If the Russian government or the Russian position in Ukraine had “collapsed,” as the video claims, media outlets would have covered it, yet none have. While Russia’s economy has been hurt by international sanctions, it is still functioning, according to the Kyiv Independent.
The claim that Ukraine “opened a big hole in the Russian Army” is also misleading. Ukraine did drive the Russians out of the vast majority of Kharkiv oblast in September 2022 and liberated Kherson city in November 2022, according to The Washington Post. However, since then, the Ukrainians have not launched a major offensive in 2023 and are instead gathering troops and material for an offensive, according to Euro News.
The Institute for the Study of War’s Jan. 8 report states that Ukraine and Russia are currently fighting over Bakhmut and trading blows elsewhere in Donetsk and Luhansk regions. It also reports that Russia fears a major Ukrainian offensive in either southern or eastern Ukraine. (RELATED: Did China Threaten To Shoot Down Nancy Pelosi’s Plane If She Visits Taiwan?)
“The United Kingdom Ministry of Defense (UK MoD) confirmed ISW’s previous assessments that Russian forces are preparing for the possibility of future Ukrainian counteroffensives in Zaporizhia or Luhansk oblasts,” the ISW report reads.