FACT CHECK: Did ‘Dozens’ Of Russian Ships Leave The Black Sea?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

A video shared on Facebook claims “dozens” of Russian “battleships” have left the Black Sea in a sign of Russia’s alleged withdrawal.

Verdict: False

There is no evidence that the Russian Navy has retreated from any body of water. The Ukrainian Navy has reported that several Russian ships remain in the Black Sea.

Fact Check:

The Russian Navy has suffered several losses, including the flagship Moskva, during the war with Ukraine, according to Defence Procurement International. A frigate from the Russian Navy is expected to join China and South Africa’s navies in joint drills, AlJazeera reported.

The Facebook video, viewed more than 39,000 times, claims that the Russian Navy has retreated from the Black Sea. The Facebook video’s caption reads, “Russian navy finally gave up: Dozens of Russian battleships begun to leave Ukrainian waters!”

This claim, however, is highly misleading. If the Russian Navy was leaving the Black Sea and Ukrainian waters, media outlets would have covered it, yet none have. The Ukrainian Navy stated that at least 16 Russian ships –six of which are equipped with Kalibr cruise missiles–were in the Black Sea, according to Ukrainian News.

Furthermore, Russian ships still remain in Sevastopol, which is the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet. A satellite photo shared on Twitter by the account MT Anderson shows several Russian ships present in the port. The Ukrainian military also reported the destruction of a Russian boat carrying troops on a sabotage and reconnaissance, according to Ukrainska Pravda.

Russian naval vessels were reportedly leaving the Russian port of Novorossiysk, according to Naval News. Characterized as a “sudden surge,” these ships were not reported as leaving the Black Sea but possibly grouping up for more attacks on Ukraine or even the possibility of an amphibious assault, per Naval News. (RELATED: Did The Ukrainians Hit The Crimea Bridge With A HIMARS Missile?)

The Russian Navy has withdrawn from Ukrainian territory before, though. For example, it retreated from Snake Island in June after a Ukrainian campaign that saw several Russian naval vessels sunk by drones and anti-ship missiles, according to The New York Times.

Misinformation regarding the Ukraine War has circulated online since the start of the war in February 2022. Check Your Fact recently debunked a claim suggesting Ukraine struck a train carrying 1,000 troops.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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