FACT CHECK: Did Denmark Open Fire On Russian Warships?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

A video shared on Facebook claims the Danish Navy opened fire on Russian warships that entered territorial waters.

Facebook/Screenshot

Facebook/Screenshot

Verdict: Misleading

While Russian warships did enter Denmark’s territorial waters, no such exchange took place. A spokesperson for Denmark’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied the claim.

Fact Check:

The Facebook post links to a YouTube video, viewed over 255,000 times, claiming Denmark’s Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod said that Denmark would open fire and sink Russian ships. “The Danish Navy Opened Fire as Russian Warships Entered Territorial Sea,” the post’s caption claims.

A Russian warship was accused of violating Denmark’s territorial waters June 17 near the Baltic Sea island of Bornholm, which was holding a democracy festival at the time, according to Reuters. The ship reportedly left after Danish naval officers established radio contact, the outlet reported.

The claim regarding an exchange of fire between the ships is untrue. There are no statements from Kofod regarding a threat to fire on Russian warships through his social media accounts or the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. There are no news reports suggesting any exchange of fire between ships in the region took place.

“It is not true that Danish navy opened fire last week,” a spokesperson for Denmark’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed to Check Your Fact in an email. The spokesperson also pointed to a June 17 press release from the ministry about the incident. (RELATED: Did A Pentagon Official Say George Soros And Volodymyr Zelenskyy Are Cousins?)

While the release quoted Kofod as saying Denmark “will not accept that kind of Russian provocation,” it does not quote him as saying that Denmark would open fire on Russian warships. There is likewise no mention of an exchange of any kind in the Baltic Sea.

This is not the first time Russian warships have been the subject of misinformation. Check Your Fact recently debunked a video claiming to show a Russian ship being hit with missiles fired from Ukraine.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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