FACT CHECK: Video Claims Ukrainian Leopards Destroyed Russian Tanks Near Mariupol
A video shared on Facebook claims Ukrainian Leopard tanks destroyed Russian tanks near Mariupol.
There is no evidence that Ukrainian Leopards are fighting Russian forces near Mariupol.
Ukraine’s counteroffensive has made slow progress since it started in June, according to BBC News. Ukraine has breached part of Russia’s first defensive line in the south around the villages of Robotyne and Verbove, the outlet reported.
The Facebook video, viewed more than 24,000 times, claims Ukrainian Leopard tanks destroyed Russian tanks near Mariupol. The video’s caption reads, “Russians in Panic! Ukrainian LEOPARD tanks burned Russian armour near Mariupol! Putin is helpless!”
This claim, however, lacks evidence. If Ukraine was fighting near or in Mariupol, media outlets would have covered it, yet none have. The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense has also not published any statements noting that they are fighting near Mariupol. (RELATED: Russia Today Headline Claiming Prigozhin’s Pilot Had Post-Vaccine Myocarditis Is Fabricated)
DeepState UA, a map that tracks the Russian-Ukrainian war, also does not show Ukrainian troops near Mariupol. The Institute for the Study of War, a non-partisan think tank that tracks the war as well, has not published any reports noting that Ukrainian forces are fighting near Mariupol.
#Ukraine is celebrating the liberation of two small towns south of #Bakhmut, but #Kyiv‘s entire effort first to defend and now to conduct counter-offensive operations around Bakhmut has been the subject of much unwarranted criticism.🧵1/7
— ISW (@TheStudyofWar) September 17, 2023
“Russian forces continued limited offensive operations along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City front on September 17 but did not make any confirmed gains. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russian forces conducted unsuccessful offensive actions near Avdiivka, Sieverne (11km southwest of Avdiivka), and Marinka,” reads ISW’s Sept. 17 report.