FACT CHECK: Does This Video Show A Russian Warship On Fire?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

A video shared on Facebook claims to show the Russian cruiser Moskva on fire in the Black Sea after being struck by a Ukrainian missile.

Verdict: False

The footage is from 2019. An analyst for an open-source military analysis website confirmed there are no verified videos of the ship being sunk.

Fact Check:

Ukraine claimed to have struck the Moskva, a Russian cruiser and the flagship of the Russian Black Sea fleet, with an anti-ship missile this week, according to The Washington Post. Russia’s Defense Ministry later confirmed the ship sunk but alleged the sinking was the result of a fire and “stormy seas,” not a Ukrainian attack, BBC News reported.

A 30-second video shared on Facebook claims to show the aftermath of the alleged Ukrainian attack. The video, which has a green hue, appears to show a ship on fire in the distance.

“#Moskva missile cruiser ship sunk after being struck by Ukrainian Neptun missile fired from the shore between #Odesa and #Mykolaiv,” reads the video’s caption. “TB2 UCAV flew to distract the ship while it was targeted by the Neptun. The ship rolled onto its side after the strike and sunk.”

The footage does not show the Moskva. A reverse image search revealed the video is an altered version of one captured in the Black Sea in 2019, years before the war in Ukraine broke out. Parts of the original footage can be seen in a WION News YouTube video that explains it shows two commercial vessels that caught fire after a refueling accident.


BBC News and Radio Free Europe also published footage of the 2019 incident. “A large fire involving two cargo vessels in the Black Sea near the Kerch Strait has killed at least 11 sailors,” reported BBC News at the time. “The blaze reportedly spread following an explosion as a gas tanker was refuelling another ship.”

The video shared on Facebook appears to have simply flipped the original footage of the accident and added the green hue to it. (RELATED: Do These Photos Show Black People Being Mistreated In Ukraine?)

Stijn Mitzer, an analyst for the open-source military analysis website Oryx, told Check Your Fact in an email that there “is no footage of the Moskva as of yet.”

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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