FACT CHECK: Image Claims To Show Leopard 2 Tank Destroyed By Wagner Group
An image shared on Facebook allegedly shows a Leopard 2 tank destroyed by Wagner Group, a Russian private military company.
The image has been circulating since 2018. There is no evidence a Leopard tank has been destroyed in Ukraine.
Wagner Group, led by Yevgeny Prigozhin, has been on the forefront of the battle for Bakhmut, according to BBC News. Prigozhin accused the Russian military of not providing enough ammunition for Wagner, stating it was the result of “ordinary bureaucracy or a betrayal,” the outlet reported.
The Facebook image shows a destroyed tank. The Facebook post reads, “Ukraine: The first Leopard tank destroyed by the Russian paramilitary group Wagner NATO believes itself invincible and continues to use Ukraine to test its latest generation weapons.”
This claim, however, is false. Through a reverse image search, Check Your Fact found that the image has been circulating since 2018. The image was published in a 2018 article claiming to show a destroyed Turkish Leopard 2 tank. The article further claims the tank had been destroyed by Kurdish fighters.
The Turkish military has sustained Leopard 2 losses, according to Bellingcat. These losses were sustained during the fight for the Syrian city of al-Bab, where it fought the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the outlet reported. (RELATED: Is The UK Home Office Searching For Two Girls That Have Joined The War In Ukraine?)
There is no evidence that a Leopard tank has been destroyed in Ukraine. If one had, media outlets would have covered it, yet none have. Oryx, a military analysis website that tracks losses in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, has not listed the Leopard 2 tank as destroyed, damaged or captured.
Misinformation about the Russian-Ukrainian conflict is not new. Check Your Fact recently debunked an image claiming to show that the conflict was fake.