FACT CHECK: Was The 73rd Naval Fleet Of The Russian Navy Destroyed In Sevastopol?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

A video shared on Facebook claims the 73rd Naval Fleet of The Russian Navy was destroyed in Sevastopol, Crimea.

Verdict: False

While Sevastopol has been attacked by drones before, there is no evidence of the destruction of several Russian naval vessels.

Fact Check:

The U.K. Defense Ministry recently revealed that the Russian Black Sea Fleet is “concerned” about the potential for an attack on their supply ships by Ukrainian forces, The Jerusalem Post reported. This comes after an October attack at the Kerch Bridge that inflicted damage on crucial Russian military supply routes, according to Newsweek.

The Facebook video claims, “Russian Blockade Exceeded: Ukraine Blows Up the Russian Navy Completely in Sevastopol!” The video’s preview states that it was the “73rd Fleet” of the Russian Navy.

This claim, though, lacks evidence. If the Ukrainians had destroyed the alleged 73rd Naval Fleet or any ships in Sevastopol, media outlets would have covered it, yet none have. Neither Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense nor Russia’s Ministry of Defense has released statements confirming the destruction of any major Russian naval unit.

Ukraine’s military has claimed to have destroyed 16 Russian naval vessels as of Dec. 7. This claim has not changed since Nov. 2. (RELATED: Does This Photo Show A Gepard Tank Firing At The Sky In Ukraine?)

There have also been no videos or images released of the alleged destruction of this 73rd fleet. WarSpotting and Oryx, two websites that track visually confirmed material losses, show only 11 or 12 vessels damaged or destroyed.

Ukraine has attacked Sevastopol with drones before, including an attack in late October that damaged at least one Russian vessel, according to Reuters.

Misinformation around the Russian-Ukrainian conflict is not new. Check Your Fact recently debunked a video claiming that Ukraine destroyed a nuclear submarine.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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