FACT CHECK: Does This Image Show A Ukrainian Challenger 2 Tank?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

An image shared on Facebook claims to show a Challenger 2 tank that was sent to Ukraine.

Verdict: False

The image has been digitally altered. The original image was taken in 2012, 11 years before Ukraine received Challenger 2 tanks.

Fact Check: 

The U.K. pledged 14 Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine in January 2023, according to Politico. These tanks, alongside German Leopard 2 tanks, were delivered to Ukraine in March, The New York Times reported.

The Facebook image claims to show a Challenger 2 tank with Ukrainian markings. The tank is supposedly fitted with explosive reaction armor (ERA) bricks, and a Ukrainian military insignia is visible. The image was also shared on Twitter, with one iteration receiving over 16,000 likes.

This image, however, has been digitally altered and is over a decade old. Through a reverse image search, Check Your Fact found that the image is from October 2012 and was taken in Germany. (RELATED: Have 100,000 Ukrainian Soldiers Died In The Russian-Ukrainian War?)

“British Soldiers with the 3rd Battalion, the Mercian Regiment, based in Fallingbostel, Germany, prepare to conduct a live-fire exercise with a Challenger 2 Tank at the Joint Multinational Training Command’s Grafenwoehr Training Area before taking part in Saber Junction here Oct. 15,” reads the image’s caption on Flickr.

The image has been altered to remove the three British tank crew members and the “DS 30 AA” lettering visible on the bottom of the tank. Furthermore, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleskii Reznikov shared a video of Ukrainian Challenger 2 tanks on Twitter. None of the tanks resemble the one in the Facebook image.

“It was a pleasure to take the first Ukrainian Challenger 2 MBT for a spin. Such tanks, supplied by the United Kingdom, have recently arrived in our country. These fantastic machines will soon begin their combat missions. Thank you, @RishiSunak, @BWallaceMP, and the 🇬🇧 people,” reads the tweet.

Misinformation surrounding the current status of the Ukrainian-Russian war has been widespread since its start in February 2022. Check Your Fact recently debunked a claim suggesting the city of Bakhmut had been liberated by Ukrainian forces.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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