FACT CHECK: Did The Ukrainians Sink Another Russian Warship With Neptune Missiles?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

A video shared on Facebook claims Ukrainian R-360 Neptune anti-ship missiles recently struck and sank a Russian warship.

Verdict: Misleading

There are no reports of the Ukrainians destroying any Russian warship, besides the Moskva, with Neptune missiles. Ukrainian sources claimed to have damaged a Russian frigate with Neptune missiles in April, but that claim is unverified.

Fact Check: 

Russian Navy ships have been used to support Russian ground offensives in Ukraine throughout the course of the war, according to Reuters. The Moskva, the Russian fleet’s flagship, was hit in May by Ukrainian Neptune missiles and sank on its way back to port, according to CBS News.

The Facebook video, viewed more than 90,000 times, claims Ukrainian forces sank another warship using Neptune missiles. “Again!! Ukraine Forces Use R-360 Neptune Anti-Ship Missile to Destroy Russian Warship,” reads the video’s title. The video includes audio of a narrator reading from a Wikipedia article about the Neptune missile. (RELATED: No, This Is Not Footage Of A Ukrainian Missile Blowing Up A Russian Naval Vessel)

While the Moskva was sunk by Ukrainian Neptune missile strikes in May, there is no evidence that Ukraine sank another warship with Neptune missiles. The Ukrainian military has destroyed or damaged 11 Russian naval vessels, including the Moskva, according to Oryx, an open source analyst website that tracks military losses in conflicts. All of the vessels besides the Moskva were hit by Bayraktar TB2 drones or other weapon systems such as U.S.-provided Harpoons, Oryx reports.

“That seems to be inaccurate,” UA Weapons Tracker, an open source intelligence account that tracks Ukraine, told Check Your Fact in an email after being asked about the Facebook post’s claim.

Oleksandr Turchynov, the former secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, claimed the Admiral Essen, a Russian warship, was damaged by a Neptune missile in early April, according to Ukrainian-based news outlet Dumskaya and The Guardian. Rob Lee, a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, shared a video on Twitter from the Russian Ministry of Defense of the Admiral Essen operating after the alleged Neptune strike.

“The Russian MoD posted a video yesterday showing the Black Sea Fleet’s Admiral Essen frigate allegedly engaging a TB2 UCAV with its Shtil-1 air defense system. The footage didn’t show an impact,” he tweeted.

This isn’t the first time claims of a Russian ship being hit have circulated on social media. Check Your Fact previously debunked a video from June that claimed to show a Russian warship being sunk by missiles.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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