FACT CHECK: Did 45,000 Ukrainian Troops Reach This Major Ukrainian City?
Ukraine’s offensive has slowed in recent days, with the country recapturing around 300 square kilometers in June, according to The Financial Times. Ukraine Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said that the main reserve forces, including the brigades trained by North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) forces, have not yet been committed, the outlet reported.
The Facebook video claims Ukrainian forces have reached the city of Melitopol. The video’s caption reads, “Miracle: 45,000 Ukrainian soldiers FINALLY reached Melitopol!” (RELATED: Did 27,000 Russians Surrender In Ukraine?)
This claim is false. While Ukraine has made gains, there is no evidence its forces have reached the city. If they had, media outlets would have covered it, yet none have. Neither the Ukrainian Defense Ministry nor the Ukrainian General Staff have confirmed Ukrainian troops have reached the city.
The Institute for the Study of War (ISW), which publishes daily maps and campaign assessments of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, has not reported that Ukrainian troops have reached the city. The ISW’s latest map shows that Ukrainian lines are far away from the city.
NEW: The Ukrainian General Staff stated that UKR forces seized the “strategic initiative” in the #Bakhmut direction & are conducting a broad offensive in the area.#Ukraine conducted offensives in at least 2 other sectors & reportedly made gains on June 29 https://t.co/N68gnBss2V pic.twitter.com/uXLDbzkzw5
— ISW (@TheStudyofWar) June 30, 2023
“Ukrainian forces conducted limited ground attacks in western Zaporizhia Oblast on June 29. Ukrainian Tavrisk Group of Forces Commander Brigadier General Oleksandr Tarnavskyi reported that Ukrainian forces continue to advance in the Tavirisk (Zaporizhia) direction,” reads ISW’s June 29 report.
Misinformation around the Russian-Ukrainian war is not new. Check Your Fact recently debunked a claim that 27,000 Russian troops recently surrendered.