Moscow’s troops retreated from a key position in the partially occupied southern Kherson region, state-run news agencies cited the Kremlin as saying on Monday, before retracting their reports and apologizing.
The Russian Ministry of Defense was quoted by Russian state-run news agencies Tass and RIA Novosti on Monday as saying that the command of the Dnipro Group of Forces decided to transfer troops to more advantageous positions east of the Russian-occupied left bank of the Kherson Oblast.
After the regrouping, the military group “will release part of the forces that will be used for an offensive in other directions,” the ministry was quoted as saying.
Tass later posted the following message on its Telegram channel: “The news that ‘The command of the Dnepr group has decided to regroup troops to more advantageous positions east of the Dnieper’ is WITHDRAWN as [it was] released erroneously. We apologize to our subscribers and readers.”
The Russian Defense Ministry told Russian news outlet RBC that the “false message” of the “regrouping” of troops in the region was “a provocation.”
It comes days after Ukrainian forces launched a missile attack on the headquarters of a Russian military group.
On November 1, a Ukrainian strike on the headquarters belonging to the Dnipro Group of Forces was reported by multiple sources, including the Institute for the Study of War’s (ISW), a U.S.-based think tank, earlier this month. British intelligence officials assessed in April that the Russian group was likely deployed to defend Ukraine’s Kherson region, which it partially occupies.
The Russian Telegram channel VChK-OGPU, which purports to have inside information from Russian security forces, and Public Reserve Stugna, an organization created to support Ukraine’s Stugna special forces battalion, said three Russian officers were killed in the attack on the military group’s base using U.S.-provided Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS).
The three officers reportedly killed were Colonel Vadim Dobriakov, deputy head of the command center of the Airborne Forces Command; Colonel Alexey Koblov, head of the operational department of the Airborne Forces headquarters; and Colonel Alexander Galkin, deputy head of the command center of the Airborne Forces Command.
The three colonels were killed “when the command post of the [Dnipro] group…was attacked,” the VChK-OGPU outlet said at the time, adding that the strike “was carried out by an ATACMS missile.”
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