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Ukraine denies Russia’s claim that it captured village in Kherson Oblast

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Ukraine’s Southern Operational Command denied Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu‘s claim that the village of Krynky in Kherson Oblast had been captured by Russia on Feb. 20.

“Russian forces, having failed in their assault operations on the left bank of Kherson Oblast, have resorted to manipulation and falsification of facts,” the statement shared to social media by the Operational Command read.

In an interview with Russian state news agency Tass on Tuesday, Shoigu claimed that Russian forces “mopped up” Krynky en route to capturing a foothold on the left bank of the Dnipro river.

Ukraine’s Armed Forces contradicted Shoigu’s statement, noting that Ukraine continues to hold their positions around the village.

Ukraine’s claims appears to be backed by the Institute for the Study of War’s (ISW) assessment on Feb. 20, which observes that geolocated visual evidence suggests that Ukrainian forces maintain their limited bridgehead in the area.

The ISW noted that the Kremlin likely prematurely claimed that Krynky had been captured as a way to “reinforce its desired informational effects ahead of the March 2024 presidential election.”

Analysts noted that Shoigu likely attempted to frame Russia’s ongoing assault of Kherson Oblast as similar to the seizure of Avdiivka to portray a perception of military strength, as Russian President Vladimir Putin seeks a fifth consecutive term in office.

According to Ukraine’s armed forces, Russian forces made a single attempt to storm Krynky during the day and retreated after suffering significant losses.

As heavy fighting continues in the region, Russia has made marginal advances along the eastern bank of Kherson Oblast. For months, Ukraine has successfully repelled Russian attacks around the village.

Read also: Ukraine war latest: Kyiv asks UN, Red Cross to investigate execution of Ukrainian POWs in Avdiivka

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