Ukraine-Russia conflict: Russian state news agency appears to accidentally publish article claiming war victory

It is the blunder feared by every news outlet that has pre-prepared articles written in the event of a sudden breaking story.

For Russian state-run news agency RIA-Novosti, the error was arguably worse than many similar bloopers, when it published a comment piece proclaiming Russian victory in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia.

Quickly deleted, but not before it was picked up by Pakistan’s Frontier Post, which translated it in to English, the article, by writer Petr Akopov, stated “Ukraine has returned to Russia”.

In the comment piece, published on Saturday, Mr Akopov described the “national humiliation” when Ukraine was lost to Russia in 1991 and praised Russian president Vladimir Putin, who, Mr Akopov said “has assumed, without a drop of exaggeration, a historic responsibility by deciding not to leave the solution of the Ukrainian question to future generations”.

This photograph shows a view of a school destroyed as a result of fight not far from the center of Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, located some 50 km from Ukrainian-Russian border, on February 28, 2022. (Photo by Sergey BOBOK / AFP) (Photo by SERGEY BOBOK/AFP via Getty Images)

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He wrote: “Russia is restoring its unity – the tragedy of 1991, this terrible catastrophe in our history, its unnatural dislocation, has been overcome. Yes, at a great cost, yes, through the tragic events of a virtual civil war.”

He said under the new terms, which assumed a quick victory on the part of the Russian military, Ukraine’s statehood would be “reorganised, re-established and returned to its natural state of part of the Russian world”.

Mr Akopv, who is also the author of a piece published on Thursday last week – the day Russia began a military attack on Ukraine – entitled “The West abandoned Ukraine: what's next?”, added: “And here begins the second dimension of the coming new era. It concerns Russia's relations with the West. Not even Russia, but the Russian world, that is, three states, Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, acting in geopolitical terms as a single whole.

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"These relations have entered a new stage. The West sees the return of Russia to its historical borders in Europe. And he is loudly indignant at this, although in the depths of his soul he must admit to himself that it could not be otherwise.”

Observers have claimed Ukrainian forces are resisting well, with Russian troops not progressing as fast as expected.

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