FACT CHECK: Did A Ukrainian Drone Sink A Russian Ship Carrying An S-400 Air Defense System?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

A video shared on Facebook claims a Ukrainian Bayraktar TB2 drone sunk a Russian ship carrying an S-400 air defense system.

Verdict: False

There is no evidence that a Russian naval vessel carrying an S-400 was hit by a TB2 drone.

Fact Check:

Russia launched a new barrage of missiles into Ukraine as part of their year-old military campaign in the country, according to The Associated Press. Approximately nine people were killed and power was disrupted in multiple regions, The New York Times reported.

The Facebook video, viewed more than 55,000 times, claims Crimea has been liberated, and the Ukrainians destroyed a ship carrying an S-400 air defense system. “Crimea Liberated: The Cruiser Carrying Putin’s S-400s Is Sinking Helplessly!” the video’s caption reads.

There is no evidence of a recent TB2 drone strike on Russian naval vessels or that Crimea has been liberated. If TB2 drones had destroyed Russian vessels near Crimea, media outlets would have covered it, yet none have. Furthermore, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense has not claimed to have destroyed Russian naval vessels since Jan. 23. Crimea has not been retaken by Ukraine, per the Institute for the Study of War.

TB2 drones have destroyed several Russian patrol boats, according to military analysis website Oryx. A TB2 drone also filmed the destruction of the Vasily Bekh near Snake Island in June 2022. The vessel was carrying a Tor air defense system, according to Forbes.

Only a single documented S-400 has been destroyed, according to Oryx. This example was destroyed on the ground, not at sea. (RELATED: Did Ukraine Sink Russian Naval Vessels With HIMARS?)

“As new photos have appeared, it is safe to say the Russian army lost a component of the advanced S-400 air defense system- a 5P85SM2-01 TEL with 5V55R missiles. This is the first ever confirmed combat loss of the S-400,” Ukraine Weapons Tracker tweeted.

Misinformation regarding the Ukraine war has circulated online since the start of the invasion in February 2022. Check Your Fact recently debunked a claim claiming that a TB2 drone was sinking Russian vessels in Crimea.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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