The Center for Countering Disinformation at the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine has named the reasons for the Kremlin recognizing the retreat of its forces from the Kharkiv region.

That’s according to the watchdog’s report posted on Telegram, as seen by Ukrinform.

“At first, the Kremlin called Russia’s failure in Kharkiv a “gesture of goodwill” and an “organized withdrawal of Russian troops from Kharkiv region to Donetsk region,” just as their defeats had been veiled before. But this time, the authorities faced massive criticism from all strata of the Russian population, including from the opposition,” the statement reads.

The U.S.-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW) analyzed the possible reasons for Russia’s open recognition of military defeat for the first time since it invaded Ukraine. ISW experts believe that Putin is forced to accept defeat, demonstrating public visibility of the existing gap between the Kremlin and the Ministry of Defense.

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“At the same time, Kremlin officials and state media propagandists are focused on softening and shifting criticism away from Putin for the devastating failure and putting the blame for the loss of almost the entire territory of the previously captured Kharkiv region on the military command and, apparently, insufficiently informed military advisers from the dictator’s entourage,” the CCD emphasized.

As Ukrinform reported earlier, Russia’s Ministry of Defense is trying to convince the domestic audience the retreat of the Russian troops in the Izyum-Balaklya area was a “feint.”

ISW Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, February 24, 2024
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ISW Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, February 24, 2024

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