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Fact Check: Has Russia’s Black Sea Fleet Really ‘Fled’ Crimea as Kirby Claims?

© AP Photo / Andrew HarnikNational Security Council spokesman John Kirby
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby - Sputnik International, 1920, 09.07.2024
White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby has claimed that American missiles used by Ukraine have effectively destroyed Russia’s Black Sea Fleet and forced it to ‘flee’ its home port Sevastopol. Is that really the case? Check out Sputnik's fact check.
“Ukraine has put US-provided ATACMS…to good use in Crimea,” Kirby said in a briefing Monday alongside White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
“They sunk the last cruise-missile capable warship in the port of Sevastopol and the Russian Black Sea Fleet has now fled Crimea in response,” Kirby claimed.
Kirby’s remarks were a telling admission that Washington is giving Kiev weapons it uses for terror strikes inside Russia (the deadly June 23 ATACMS attack on a beach in Sevastopol just one example).
As for the claim that Ukraine has “sunk” the Black Sea Fleet’s entire lineup of cruise missile-armed ships, that’s just a bald-faced lie, and here's why:
A five-second-internet search shows that the Black Sea Fleet’s cruise-missile ship inventory includes five Krivak and Admiral Grigorovich-class guided missile frigates, seven Kalibr cruise-capable Project 636 (Kilo) submarines, more than half-a-dozen Dergach, Buyan-M and Karakurt missile corvettes, and dozens of smaller vessels, some armed with long-range anti-ship missiles.
Russia has shuttled some of its larger ships out of Sevastopol to other ports in light of the Ukrainian drone threat, but the idea that the Black Sea Fleet has “fled” its home port is another easily debunked lie. On July 4, local authorities announced nighttime live-fire training by Fleet units in the Sevastopol area. Similar drills took place in the piers and bays of Sevastopol on June 12 and 15, respectively, showing that the Black Sea Fleet hasn’t gone anywhere and has no plans to do so.
Kirby has made a name for himself for his tendency to regularly get tripped up in his own lies. In February, he falsely claimed that Baghdad was warned ahead of a series of US airstrikes in Iraq. In March, he and other officials were caught lying by claiming that the US warned Russia ahead of an attack on a Moscow concert hall. Perhaps most famously of all, in August 2021, less than two days before the utter collapse of the US puppet regime in Afghanistan, Kirby assured media that the situation in Kabul was stable.
Delve Into Russia’s Black Sea Fleet by Exploring Its Goals and Weaponry - Sputnik International, 1920, 13.05.2024
Delve Into Russia’s Black Sea Fleet by Exploring Its Goals and Weaponry
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