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Ukrainians dismiss new Russian attempt to justify invasion


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The Russian Defense Ministry published on Wednesday a document that it characterized as a “secret order” from Ukraine’s National Guard in an apparent attempt to justify Russia’s invasion of Ukraine after the fact. Ukrainian sources dismissed the document as a likely forgery in comments to Fox News Digital.

Major General Igor Konashenkov, a representative of the Russian Defense Ministry, claimed that the document, dated January 22, 2022, revealed a Ukraine National Guard plot to attack the Donbass region in March 2022. Putin has sought to defend the invasion as a defensive maneuver to protect Russia from Ukraine and NATO aggression.

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Konashenkov claimed that “the document contains the original signatures of the officials responsible for the fulfillment of the tasks of the command of the National Guard of Ukraine.” He claimed that the document “is addressed to the heads of the norther Kiev, southern Odessa and western territorial departments of the National Guard of Ukraine.”

FILE In this Monday, Sept. 26, 2016 file photo Russian defense ministry spokesman Maj.-Gen. Igor Konashenkov speaks to the media in Moscow, Russia.

FILE In this Monday, Sept. 26, 2016 file photo Russian defense ministry spokesman Maj.-Gen. Igor Konashenkov speaks to the media in Moscow, Russia.
(The Associated Press)

Misha Gannytskyi, director general of the Ukrainian Independent Information Agency of News (UNIAN), told Fox News Digital that the document appears to be an “ordinary Russian fake to justify invasion.”

“I’m sure it’s just a fake – one of many produced by Russia since 2008,” when Russia invaded Georgia, Gannytskyi added.

Misha Gannytskyi

Misha Gannytskyi
(Misha Gannytskyi)

Mark Savchuk, Kyiv-based coordinator of the Ukraine Volunteer Journalists Initiative (UVJI), said the Russian claim was “insane.”

“In order to attack a well-prepared position, you need to prepare and mobilize a LOT of troops,” Savchuk said. “That never happened, because we would have had to mobilize roughly 200,000 people, form attack groups. This is such a huge logistical exercise that it is simply impossible to hide.”

Maryan Zablotskyy, a member of the Ukrainian parliament who got his wife and child out of Kyiv, told Fox News Digital, “I honestly think it does not make any sense to comment on anything Russians say.”

“If the Russian side just lies all the time, then what’s the point of even considering verifying the claim?” Zablotskyy asked. “How many times does one have to falsely cry ‘wolf’ to stop even considering it?”

Mark Savchuk, Kyiv-based coordinator of the Ukraine Volunteer Journalists Initiative (UVJI).

Mark Savchuk, Kyiv-based coordinator of the Ukraine Volunteer Journalists Initiative (UVJI).
(Mark Savchuk)

Zablotskyy noted that Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed he is fighting to rid Ukraine of “Nazism,” even though Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is Jewish.

“I think we are done commenting on any Russian claims,” he added. “We’ll start reading them when they have a free press.”

Putin recently signed a law banning “fake” information that would jail journalists for reports calling the war in Ukraine a “war.” 

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The Ukraine Defense Ministry and the office of President Zelenskyy did not respond to Fox News’ requests for comment by press time.

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