FACT CHECK: Does This Image Show A Destroyed Russian Anti-Air System?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook allegedly shows a destroyed Russian S-300 anti-air missile system targeted by Ukrainian Defense Forces.

Verdict: Misleading

The image shows a destroyed Ukrainian S-300 anti-air missile battery, not a Russian one.

Fact Check:

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is looking to provide air defense systems following a wave of Russian cruise missile and drone strikes, according to Politico. The U.S. recently denounced a claim from Russia suggesting Ukraine would use a “dirty bomb” on its own territory to potentially frame Russia, CNBC reported.

The image appears to show a destroyed S-300 battery, targeted by Ukrainian forces. “The Ukrainian Defense Forces have destroyed a Russian S-300 air defense missile system near the Zaporizhzhia region’s city of Tokmak,” The post’s caption reads. The image was also widely shared on Twitter.

The caption is misleading. A reverse image search found that the image shows a destroyed Ukrainian S-300 anti-air battery. The battery was included on Oryx’s list of destroyed Ukrainian equipment, which tracks military losses in various conflicts, including the Russian-Ukrainian war.

The destroyed S-300 battery can be seen in a Mar. 30 video shared by Ukraine Weapons Tracker, an open-source intelligence (OSINT) account that tracks vehicle losses in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

A Ukrainian S-300PT SAM battery, destroyed by the Russian army in Malyn, #Zhytomyr Oblast – likely in the beginning of the invasion. As can be seen, the Ukrainian forces lost at least 10 5P851A launchers, 2 F3 command cabins and a 5N66 low altitude acquisition radar,” the account tweeted. 

Oryx also debunked the claim on Twitter. (RELATED: Does This Image Show A Woman Shopping While A BBC Reporter Ducks Behind Cover?)

“Destroyed Ukrainian S-300PT battery from February, 2022,” Oryx tweeted.

Misinformation about vehicle losses in Ukraine is not new. Check Your Fact recently fact-checked an image claiming to show a destroyed Ukrainian tank.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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