FACT CHECK: Did Ukraine Destroy ‘Dozens’ Of Russian Warships In A Drone Attack?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

A video shared on Facebook claims Ukraine destroyed “dozens” of Russian warships in a drone attack.

Verdict: False

The attack damaged at least one ship, but none were destroyed. The Ukrainian Defense Ministry has claimed 16 Russian naval vessels destroyed since the invasion started.

Fact Check:

The Russian Black Sea Fleet was attacked by unmanned Ukrainian drones Oct. 29, according to The New York Times. Russia suspended its involvement in a grain deal before returning to it Nov. 2, but also warning that it could suspend the deal at any point, the outlet reported.

The Facebook video, viewed more than 122,000 times, claims that a “massive drone attack” destroyed “dozens” of Russian warships.

However, this claim is false. The attack on the Black Sea Fleet damaged at least one ship, according to BBC News. Video footage appears to show that the flagship of the fleet, the Admiral Makarov, may have been damaged in the attack, The Guardian reported.

Ukraine Weapons Tracker, an open-source intelligence account that tracks weapon losses in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, posted footage of the attack on Twitter. (RELATED: Does This Photo Show A Gepard Tank Firing At The Sky In Ukraine?)

“Remarkable video of today’s attack on the Russian Sevastopol Naval Base. Ukrainian Uncrewed Surface Vessels (Drone boats filled with explosives) apparently managed to hit a Project 11356R frigate (presumably Admiral Makarov) & the Ivan Golubets Project 266M minesweeper,” the account tweeted.

Oryx, a military analysis website that tracks visual material losses in the war, lists 11 Russian warships and other vessels as damaged and destroyed. Additionally, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s verified Twitter account has only claimed to have destroyed 16 Russian naval vessels since the war started rather than “dozens” of warships as the Facebook post claims.

Misinformation around the Russian-Ukrainian conflict is not new. Check Your Fact recently fact-checked a video claiming to show footage that proved the war was staged.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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