No, this video does not show a Patriot system being destroyed in Ukraine

By: Sam Doak
May 23 2023

Share Article: facebook logo twitter logo linkedin logo
No, this video does not show a Patriot system being destroyed in Ukraine


The Verdict False

According to avaliable information, it appears that the system was damaged but remained operational.

Claim ID d4425377


On May 18, 2023, the Russian Embassy in South Africa posted a video on Twitter depicting what appear to be munitions firing into the sky at night. It accompanied the tweet with an interpretation of the footage, stating, "The video of 16 May depicts the launch of US-supplied Patriot missiles in Ukraine, $5 million each. In 2 mins, the amount of $150 million was simply gone. After which, a multifunctional radar station and 5 launchers are hit & destroyed by Russia's hypersonic missile. 'Kinzhal' wins." 

According to media reports, Ukraine received its first Patriot air defense systems in April 2023. Capable of intercepting missiles and aircraft, the equipment had long been requested by officials in Kyiv. Celebrating their arrival, the country's defense minister Oleksii Reznikov, tweeted on April 19, "Today, our beautiful Ukrainian sky becomes more secure because Patriot air defense systems have arrived in Ukraine." 

Patriots are generally considered to be among the most advanced air-defense systems available. As such, the destruction of such an installation by a Russian Kinzhal hypersonic missile would likely cause concern among Ukrainians and their foreign allies. In this case, however, the narrative provided by Russian officials is inaccurate. 

In Fact 

Numerous news outlets have covered the events shown in the video shared by Russia's embassy in South Africa. In its coverage, France 24 cited the news agency AFP, which was reportedly told, "The Patriot system remains operational" by a Ukrainian official." The outlet further reported that AFP was informed, "All is fine with the Patriot," by a spokesperson for the Ukrainian airforce, who "declined to specify if the sophisticated system had been damaged," but stated that "The Patriot is in service." 

Further reporting by the New York Times suggests that the Patriot System was damaged rather than destroyed. According to the newspaper, "Two U.S. officials confirmed that a Patriot system had been damaged in the attack but added that the Patriot remained operational against all threats." 

Logically Facts could find no credible evidence or reporting to substantiate claims that a patriot system in Ukraine has been destroyed, despite claims made by Russian officials. 

The Verdict

According to available reports, the attack shown in the video shared by Russia's embassy in South Africa resulted in a patriot system being damaged, not destroyed. This claim has therefore been marked as false. 

Would you like to submit a claim to fact-check or contact our editorial team?

Global Fact-Checks Completed

We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before