Russia’s Ministry of Defence has called the publication by media about a regrouping of its troops in Ukraine a “provocation”.
The ministry said that the reports by two state news agencies on Monday, discussing Russian troop movements in Ukraine, were “false”. The reports were quickly withdrawn after publication.
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“The transmission of a false report about the “regrouping” of troops in the Dnipro area, allegedly on behalf of the Russian Defence Ministry’s press centre, is a provocation,” the ministry said, according to the RBC news outlet.
The reports, by the RIA Novosti and TASS agencies, had said that Russian troops were being moved to “more favourable positions” east of the Dnipro River in Ukraine.
The Kremlin’s spokesperson declined to comment on the incident, which has been flagged as illustrating disarray among the military establishment regarding media work, saying it was a matter for the military.
On Friday, Russia’s military said that its forces had thwarted a Ukrainian attempt to forge a bridgehead on the eastern bank of the Dnipro and on nearby islands.
Last week, The US-based Institute for the Study of War said that Ukraine appeared to have conducted assaults across the Dnipro in Kherson region in mid-October, and noted that Russian military bloggers were reporting continued Ukrainian ground operations on the east bank.
According to ISW’s assessment as of November 12, while Russian forces conducted a limited series of missile strikes targeting southern Ukraine, “the Russian government is attempting to downplay the extent of its efforts to strengthen control over the Russian information space”.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian officials say that Russian forces have ramped up attacks in eastern Ukraine in an attempt to gain ground near two key front line cities.
“Toward Bakhmut, the Russians have become more active and are trying to recapture previously lost positions,” General Oleksandr Syrskyi wrote in a statement on the Telegram messaging app. “Enemy attacks are being repelled,” he added.