Fact Check: Russian Army Did NOT Withdraw From Kherson To Evade Ukrainian Attack On Khakhovka Dam

Overovanie Faktov

  • podľa: Lead Stories Staff
Fact Check: Russian Army Did NOT Withdraw From Kherson To Evade Ukrainian Attack On Khakhovka Dam Separate Events

Did the Russian military leave the Kherson region of Ukraine to evade a Ukrainian attack on the Kakhovka dam? No, that's not true: The Russian military pulled out of Kherson seven months before the dam collapsed due to mounting pressure from Ukrainian forces that managed to sever Russian military links from the region to the eastern side of the Dnipro River, thus threatening Russia's supply and evacuation route. Moreover, there is no evidence to support a Russian accusation that Ukraine was behind the destruction of the Kakhovka dam.

The claim appeared in a TikTok video, which is no longer available, published by @opozicny_lider_marcel on June 6, 2023, with a caption (translated from Slovak to English by Lead Stories staff) reading:

Do you understand now why the Russians had to leave Kherson? Because there was a terrorist attack threat, which became reality today.

The author says:

I have previously pointed out, that the Russian army has left Kherson voluntarily and for strategic reasons. I have also pointed out, that the hydroelectric plant was there, which has been attacked by Ukraine today, in an act of terrorism.

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2023-07-13 at 15.51.23.jpg

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Wed Jul 13 14:11:00 2023 UTC)

Ukrainian forces, using precision rockets and artillery, targeted several bridges across the Dnipro River that divides the Kherson region from the eastern part of Ukraine in 2022. The damage forced the Russians to use ferry boats to move supplies back and forth across the river. Eventually, the Russian general admitted it was no longer possible to keep supplying his troops in the Ukrainian city and he was forced to withdraw them in mid-November 2022 or face the possibility of a full encirclement, capture or destruction of his forces.

That was seven months before the dam collapsed on June 6, 2023.

Moreover, reporting by The New York Times and The Associated Press suggests that the Russian army had more reason, and better access and opportunity to destroy the dam. So far, no evidence has been shown to indicate Ukrainian or other involvement in the attack.

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