There was some query about how a lot inventory ought to be positioned within the movies launched by Russia. Moscow has a well-established historical past of making an attempt to brush miliary embarrassments underneath the rug, most notably throughout this battle when the flagship of its Black Sea Fleet was sunk.
Even when its plans seem to work out, the Kremlin generally likes to keep up a shroud of thriller.
It has declared no involvement, for instance, when outdated adversaries flip up poisoned in different nations. And extra not too long ago, when the mercenary chief Yevgeny V. Prigozhin died after his aircraft exploded, President Vladimir V. Putin supplied a cryptic eulogy for a onetime ally who had briefly rebelled: He was a “gifted man,” he mentioned, with a “difficult destiny.”
Nonetheless, Ukraine, too, has made claims in the course of the battle which have turned out to be inaccurate or, at the least, unprovable. After the primary video purporting to point out Admiral Sokolov alive appeared in Russia, Ukrainian officers acknowledged that they could have made a mistake, however maintained that they nonetheless thought he was lifeless.
On Wednesday, Admiral Sokolov — or, at the least, a determine who resembled him — didn’t restrict himself to affairs navy. A state-owned newspaper, Rossiyskaya Gazeta, printed an article saying that he had handed out an award that morning to the Black Sea Fleet’s soccer workforce.
There was proof suggesting that the award ceremony might, the truth is, have been a restaging of an earlier occasion, presumably to buttress the notion that the admiral was nonetheless alive. He himself, in response to a query, says on the video that the ceremony had been postponed.
Aric Toler contributed reporting.