‘Utter fake’: False Putin address tells Russians that Ukrainians have crossed border

Save articles for later

Add articles to your saved list and come back to them any time.

Kyiv: The Kremlin said a purported radio address by President Vladimir Putin heard on Monday on Russian stations in regions bordering Ukraine was fake and the result of a hack, Russian news agencies reported.

The state-owned news agency RIA said a number of radio stations had carried the hoax address.

Vladimir Putin.Credit: AP

“All of these messages are an utter fake,” it cited Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying.

Independent Russian media reported that the announcement had told residents of the Rostov, Belgorod and Voronezh regions, all of which adjoin Ukraine, that Kyiv’s forces had crossed the border with Russia.

They cited the address as saying, wrongly, that martial law had been declared in border regions and a nationwide military mobilisation had begun for Russia’s war with Ukraine, and that residents should evacuate deeper into Russia.

Kyiv denies sending any troops into Russian territory, and says the sporadic ground incursions that have occurred in the last three months, for which Moscow blames Ukraine, have been the work of Russian partisans.

In a statement posted on Telegram, the Voronezh regional government confirmed that a hack had taken place, and said local radio stations were under the control of law enforcement agencies and local authorities.

Moscow said on Monday it had thwarted a major offensive against its forces in eastern Ukraine, but Ukrainian officials dismissed the report and both sides said Kyiv’s military had made small gains elsewhere along front lines.

It was unclear whether the attacks represented the start of Ukraine’s long-heralded counteroffensive against Russia’s invasion, and Ukrainian officials made no mention of any broad, significant new campaign or sidestepped questions on the matter.

Russia’s defence ministry said Ukraine had attacked on Sunday morning with six mechanised and two tank battalions in southern Donetsk, where Moscow has long suspected Ukraine would seek to drive a wedge through Russian-controlled territory.

Ukrainian soldiers ride an armoured personnel carrier on the frontline near Bakhmut, the site of battles with the Russian troops in the Donetsk region, Ukraine.Credit: AP

“On the morning of June 4, the enemy launched a large-scale offensive in five sectors of the front in the South Donetsk direction,” the defence ministry said in a statement posted on Telegram at 1:30 a.m. Moscow time (2230 GMT).

“The enemy’s goal was to break through our defences in the most vulnerable, in its opinion, sector of the front,” it said. “The enemy did not achieve its tasks, it had no success.”

Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told Reuters on Monday that Ukraine now had enough weapons for a counteroffensive but declined to comment when asked whether it had begun.

In its evening report, Ukraine’s General Staff made no mention of any large-scale offensive operation, or suggested any other deviation from the usual tempo or scope of fighting along front lines that have not changed significantly for months.

Deputy defence minister Hanna Maliar said on Telegram that Ukraine was “shifting to offensive actions” along parts of the front line but dismissed suggestions this was part of a major operation.


Get a note directly from our foreign correspondents on what’s making headlines around the world. Sign up for the weekly What in the World newsletter here.

Most Viewed in World

From our partners

Source: Read Full Article