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Zelenskyy: No Russian Troops in Sumy Region, Kadyrov’s Claims are a “Propaganda Operation”


No Russian troops were reported present in the border village of Ryzhivka in Sumy region as of the morning of June 10, according to statements made by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Zelenskyy stated that Russia had attempted a “propaganda operation” in Ryzhivka but affirmed that Ukrainian forces maintain full control over the situation.

This statement from Zelenskyy followed claims made on June 9 by Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who asserted that soldiers of the Akhmat-Chechnya regiment had captured the Ukrainian village. Kadyrov shared a video on Telegram purportedly showing their presence and fighting in the settlement. Zelenskyy noted that as of the morning, the Russian flag in the village had been destroyed.

Ryzhivka, which reportedly had fewer than 10 residents as of the end of May, is situated 2 kilometers from Russia’s Kursk Region. According to the crowd-sourced DeepState monitoring service, which tracks changes on the front line, the village is in a “grey zone,” with Russian sabotage groups regularly attempting to breach it.

Volodymyr Artiukh, chief of Sumy regional administration, also confirmed that there are no Russian soldiers in the area. Andrii Kovalenko, head of an anti-disinformation department at the National Security and Defense Council, dismissed Kadyrov’s claims as part of an information operation, asserting that there are no activities in the border area of Sumy region.

Kyrylo Budanov, Ukraine’s military intelligence chief, had suggested in mid-May that Russian forces might launch an offensive in Sumy Region similar to the one in Kharkiv region when conditions are more favorable. President Zelenskyy had previously stated that Moscow failed to fulfill its operation in Kharkiv. Zelenskyy also warned in late May that Russia was forming another troop grouping near Ukraine’s northern border.

Since the Russian-occupied parts of Sumy Region were liberated in early April 2022, the region has been experiencing daily strikes from across the border due to its location on Ukraine’s northeastern border with Russia. Ukrainian authorities have ordered further evacuations from the region amid intensified attacks.

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