FACT CHECK: Has Ukraine Destroyed 5,000 Russian Tanks?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

A video shared on Facebook claims Ukraine has destroyed 5,000 Russian tanks since the beginning of the Russian invasion in February.

Verdict: Misleading

Experts believe Russia has lost a minimum of 5,000 vehicles total, not 5,000 tanks. Ukraine claims to have destroyed fewer than 2,000 Russian tanks.

Fact Check:

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is now in its fifth month, according to USA Today. Ukrainians are counterattacking in Kherson while the Russians are staging localized offensives in the Donbas, according to the Institute for the Study of War.

A video shared on Facebook and viewed more than 12,000 times claims Ukraine has destroyed 5,000 Russian tanks. The video consists of a narrator reading an Aug. 1 article from Newsweek titled, “Russia Has Lost 5,000 Military Vehicles in Ukraine War: Analysis” and a July 30 article titled “Russia Failing to Gain Air Superiority as U.S. HIMARS Hit SAMs: Pentagon.” The video itself features a compilation of clips showing tanks and explosions.

“HUGE DAMAGE! Ukrainian Destroyed 5,000 Russian Tanks,” reads the post’s caption and title. (RELATED: Did Ukraine Hit Crimea With HIMARs Missile Strikes?)

The Facebook video’s title and caption are incorrect. Oryx, a website that tracks military losses in various conflicts, has verified over 5,000 Russian military vehicles as being destroyed, damaged, captured or abandoned throughout the course of the war. Out of the 5,000 vehicles destroyed, damaged, captured or abandoned, the organization lists 926 Russian tanks, with 562 categorized as “destroyed” and 280 as “captured.”

Ukraine itself has not claimed to have destroyed over 5,000 tanks. The Ukrainian military has claimed, as of publishing time, that the Russians have lost 1,794 tanks. The Kyiv Independent, an independent Ukraine-based news organization, claimed Russia had lost 1,774 tanks as of Aug. 3.

Check Your Fact found no credible news reporting that suggests the Russians have lost 5,000 tanks so far.

Misinformation about the conflict in Ukraine has spread rapidly online. Check Your Fact recently debunked a viral Facebook post that alleged the U.S. sent Ukraine fighter jets.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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