FACT CHECK: Did The Russians Retreat From Bakhmut?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

A video shared on Facebook claims Russia retreated from Bakhmut.

Verdict: False

The Russians have not retreated from Bakhmut. They currently control the vast majority of the city.

Fact Check:

Russian private military company Wagner reportedly began making multiple posts concerning the Russian army’s efforts in Bakhmut, with some being provocative, according to CNN. The country’s defense military has denied reports that Ukrainian soldiers have made gains in the territory, BBC reported.

The video, viewed more than 41,000 times, claims that Russians are “officially retreating from Bakhmut.” The video’s caption reads, “It’s all over: Russians are officially Retreating from Bakhmut! Finally Putin admitted that he lost!”

However, there is no evidence that the Russians have retreated from Bakhmut. If Russia had retreated from Bakhmut, media outlets would have covered it, yet none have. The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense did not release a statement confirming that Russia had retreated from Bakhmut.

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW), a non-partisan think tank, reported May 9 that Wagner Group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin claimed Ukraine controlled around 2.36 square kilometers of the city. ISW estimated May 3 that Ukraine controlled 1.89 square kilometers, while Prigozhin claimed at the time Ukraine controlled 2.7 square kilometers.

Ukraine did counterattack in the Bakhmut area and claimed to have liberated a strip of the front from the Russian 72nd Separate Motor Rifle Brigade in the southwest Bakhmut front, according to Reuters. Prigozhin claimed he lost 500 men when the 72nd brigade retreated, the outlet reported. (RELATED: Did The Leaked Pentagon Documents Show Ukraine Suffered 71,000 Dead?)

“The situation (in Bakhmut) remains difficult because for the enemy, despite all the white noise Prigozhin is trying to create, it (Bakhmut) is (still) the main direction of attack,” Serhiy Cherevatyi, a spokesperson for Ukraine’s Operational Command East, said in remarks, according to Reuters.

This is not the first time the Ukraine war has been used to spread misinformation online. Check Your Fact recently debunked a video allegedly showing Ukrainian troops preparing a counteroffensive against Russian forces.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
Follow Elias on Twitter Have a fact check suggestion? Send ideas to [email protected].