Old Video of Ships Catching Fire Shared As 'Russian Ship Moskva Hit by Ukraine'

The viral video from 2019 was flipped, edited, and showed two ships catching fire in the Black Sea.

3 min read
Old Video of Ships Catching Fire Shared As 'Russian Ship Moskva Hit by Ukraine'

An infrared (IR) video showing a ship on fire in a sea has been shared to claim that it shows the Russian warship Moskva that was damaged by an explosion initiated by Ukrainian forces amid the ongoing war with Russia.

Russia's defence ministry on Thursday, 18 April, had said that the damage caused the ship to sink.

However, we found that the video, which was from 2019, showed two ships that caught fire on the Black Sea causing the death of 14 people, including some Indians. The fire broke out on 21 January 2019, off Russia's territorial waters in the Black Sea and both vessels were flying Tanzanian flags.



Sharing the video people wrote, "Ukrainian forces have hit with a Neptune anti-ship missile the flagship of Russia's Black Sea Fleet, the 500 crew Moskva and used IR camera to tape it and created a song about it. It may have sunk".

An archive of the post can be found here.

(Source: Twitter/Screenshot)

Similar claims were shared by other social media users, archives of some can be found here, here and here.


While going through the videos, we found a tweet by a user who said that the viral video was from 2019 showing a ship under the flag of Tanzania catching fire in the Black Sea.

Taking a cue from that, we conducted a keyword search with relevant keywords and found news reports talking about the incident. A video of the incident was also shared by news organisations, including The Quint.

According to the reports, two ships carrying Indian, Turkish, and Libyan crew members caught fire in the Kerch Strait separating Crimea from Russia, killing at least 14 sailors, while some others were still missing.

We matched the visuals from the 2019 video and compared it with the viral video and found that a green screen was added and the original video was flipped.

Comparison of the 2019 video with the viral video.

(Photo: Altered by The Quint)

Moskva, the Russian warship was hit by Neptune anti-ship missiles that damaged the ship, Ukraine claimed. Russia denied Ukraine's claims and said that the damage to the ship was caused by an unexplained fire, which ignited ammunition. Russia further said that the ship capsized while being towed to the shore.

Visuals of ship while being towed was shared by various news organisations.

Evidently, an old and unrelated video from 2019 was shared to claim that it showed the final moments before the Russian warship Moskva capsized after being hit by Ukrainian missiles.


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