FACT CHECK: Did A Patriot Battery Shoot Down A Russian Fighter In Ukraine?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

A video shared on Facebook claims a Patriot battery shot down a Russian fighter in Ukraine.

Verdict: False

There is no evidence that a Patriot battery has been deployed in Ukraine or shot down a Russian fighter.

Fact Check:

The U.S. announced in December 2022 that it would provide a Patriot missile battery system to Ukraine to protect against Russian missiles, according to CNN. Russia has kept its most modern fighters, Su-57s, in its own airspace, but has reportedly begun prepositioning for a potential mobilization, Insider reported.

The Facebook video, viewed more than 138,000 times, claims a Patriot battery shot down a Russian fighter. The video’s caption reads, “US Patriot Has SHOT DOWN Latest Russian Fighter Jet in Ukraine.”

However, there is no evidence that this occurred. If a Patriot battery had shot down a Russian fighter, media outlets would have covered it, yet none have. While the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense has claimed the country’s armed forces have shot down several aircraft in recent days, there is no indication it was done via Patriot battery.

For example, the Ukrainian Border Service Guards claimed to have shot down a Russian aircraft over Bakhmut with a man-portable air defense system (MANPADS) Feb. 11, according to Ukrainska Pravda. The Ukrainian National Guard claimed to have shot down a Su-24 with a MANPADS Feb. 14, the outlet reported.

Mark Cancian, a senior adviser with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) International Security Program, told Check Your Fact in an email that there “is no evidence that a Patriot battery has shot down any aircraft in Ukraine.” (RELATED: Did A Military Tribunal Convict Ron Klain Of ‘Seditious Conspiracy’?)

“It will be many months before Patriot is deployed to Ukraine. The crews and maintainers must be trained first; that process just began in late January,” Cancian said, also pointing to a CSIS analysis warning that training “courses for Patriot operators and maintainers normally take many months.”

A Department of Defense senior official said during a December 2022 background briefing that “Patriot does require training, and we expect it will take several months to ensure Ukrainian forces have the training they need to employ it successfully.”

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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