FACT CHECK: Image Claims To Show A Destroyed Patriot Defense System

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

An image shared on Twitter claims to show a destroyed Patriot missile defense system.

Verdict: False

The image shows a destroyed Russian anti-air system. The user who originally made the claim later clarified it was a joke.

Fact Check:

Russia claimed to have hit a Patriot missile defense system with a hypersonic missile, according to CNN. Three U.S. officials told CNN that parts of the Patriot system were damaged, but it remains operational and that it is unknown if the Patriot was damaged by a missile or falling debris.

The image claims to show a destroyed Patriot battery. The tweet reads, “The Patriot is completely destroyed.” (RELATED: Does This Video Show Ukrainian Troops Preparing For A Counteroffensive?)

However, through a reverse image search, Check Your Fact found that the image does not show a Patriot system. Rob Lee, a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Institute, shared the image on Twitter and said it was a Russian Pantsir anti-air system that was destroyed in the Donetsk Oblast.

“A destroyed Russian Pantsir-S1 air defense system reportedly destroyed earlier this month in Donetsk Oblast,” Lee tweeted.

The same observation was made by Ukraine Weapons Tracker, a Twitter account that tracks and analyzes vehicle and equipment losses in Ukraine.

A Russian Pantsir-S1 air defence system was destroyed in the South of #Donetsk Oblast earlier this month by a Ukrainian strike- as claimed, GMRLS (Fired from HIMARS/M270) were used,” Ukraine Weapons Tracker tweeted. 

The account that made the original claim later clarified it was a joke after a Community Notes was attached to the tweet.

Misinformation regarding the current status of the Ukrainian war has circulated online. Check Your Fact recently debunked a claim allegedly showing an anti-Zelenskyy tweet from the country’s Defense Ministry in 2018.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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