FACT CHECK: Does This Image Show The Moskva On Fire?

Hannah Hudnall | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook allegedly shows the Moskva, a Russian warship, before and after it was damaged by an explosion.

Verdict: Misleading

While one of the two photos included in the post shows the Moskva days before it sank, the other photo shows an Iranian ship that caught fire in June 2021.

Fact Check:

Russia’s Ministry of Defense announced April 14 that the Moskva had sunk after reportedly being damaged by an explosion, according to BBC News. Though Russia claims the ship sank as the result of a fire, Ukrainian and U.S. officials suggested it had been struck by Ukrainian missiles, the outlet reports.

The Facebook post features a set of images purportedly showing the Moskva before and after it was damaged by the explosion. The first image shows a ship burning and partially submerged in water while the second shows an intact battleship anchored in a harbor. “Cruiseship Moskva is on fire!” reads part of the post’s caption.

The top photo does not show the Russian warship. The photo, attributed to the West Asia News Agency, shows the Kharg, an Iranian naval vessel, after it caught fire in the Gulf of Oman in June 2021, according to Reuters. The ship later sank as a result of the fire, the outlet reported.

The image of the burning Iranian vessel can be seen in articles published by PBS, The Wall Street Journal and Arab News, among others. (RELATED: No, This Is Not Footage Of A Ukrainian Missile Blowing Up A Russian Naval Vessel)

A reverse image search reveals the second image, the one showing the anchored ship, was shared by the Russian News website Krymr on April 10 and does show the Moskva. “Cruiser ‘Moskva’ in the Sevastopol Bay three days before the hit of Ukrainian missiles ‘Neptune,'” reads an English translation of its Russian-language caption.

Hannah Hudnall

Fact Check Reporter