A Ukrainian soldier whose post became the source for fake Russian media claims that Russia destroyed western military equipment used by Ukraine’s military told StopFake his post was a joke and military hardware is not being pulled back from the front. There are countless photos and video evidence of the presence of Western heavy equipment on the front line – no one is pulling it back from the theater of war.

Kremlin media, as well as Russian social media users are busy disseminating stories claiming that after significant losses of Western equipment, defeated units will be withdrawn to the Volyn’ western Ukrainian region. They claim that this was announced by “Ukrainian sources”.

“According to incoming information, having suffered heavy losses, units armed with Leopard 2 and BMP M2 Bradley tanks are being withdrawn from Orikhiv to the rear. They are being taken out to the Volyn’ region, allegedly as part of a planned rotation, where they will guard the border. It is very possible that our fighter will no longer see German tanks and American infantry fighting vehicles in the future, ”writes the Russian Voyennoye Obozrenie site.

Russian propagandists produce such disinformation attempting to portray the Ukrainian counteroffensive as unsuccessful, sustaining huge military losses as well as losses of Western equipment.

The source for this disinformation wave was a facetious Facebook post by a Ukrainian servicemen that was meant as a joke. Russian media, however, chose not to see the humor in the post, and presented it as real news.  

“If your unit loses all its Leopards and Bradleys, then you will be deployed to Volyn’ to guard the border. And for another six months, you can collect donations without a care,” wrote Ukrainian serviceman Artem Romanov.

StopFake reached out to Romanov to inquire about his post, it’s intent and the spin Russian media have put on it. Romanov told us that his post was not based on any factual events, it was a joking hypothetical post. “It starts with the word if” he pointed out and there is not a word in it about anyone being sent to Volyn’. In addition, the post is also illustrated by photographs of captured Russian armored personnel carriers.

StopFake has refuted several other similar Russian fakes claiming that the Ukrainian army suffered “colossal losses”, and “234 instructors from the USA and Great Britain have already died.”