Fact Check: UK Has NOT Sent Warships To Black Sea To Break Russia's Blockade As Of May 27, 2022-- But Did Salute The Idea

Fact Check

  • by: Christiana Dillard
Fact Check: UK Has NOT Sent Warships To Black Sea To Break Russia's Blockade As Of May 27, 2022-- But Did Salute The Idea No Ships Sent

Did the United Kingdom send warships to the Black Sea to break Russia's grain blockade in Ukraine during the 2022 Russia-Ukraine conflict? No, that's not true: Although there have been reports that such a move was supported by the United Kingdom in principle, there is no trustworthy independent reporting that the Royal Navy had, by May 27, 2022, sent warships to disrupt the blockade.

The claim appeared in a Facebook post on May 24, 2022. The post features a video with a caption that reads:

PUTIN bewildered! UK sends warships to black sea to break Russia's grain blockade in Ukraine

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

uk ships black sea FB post.png

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Thu May 26 14:22:51 2022 UTC)

There is no evidence that the United Kingdom has sent warships to the Black Sea to end the ongoing Russian blockade of Ukrainian grain exports. Gabrielius Landsbergis, minister of foreign affairs of Lithuania, met with Liz Truss, foreign secretary of the United Kingdom, on May 23, 2022, and discussed the blockade. According to reports (here and here), Landsbergis proposed a non-NATO naval mission to escort grain ships past the Russian warships causing the blockade. Truss told reporters that the United Kingdom supported such an operation in principle. Truss made further comments about the blockade on her Twitter account on May 26, 2022, but did not mention the proposed mission.

At the time of writing, the U.K. government's website detailing its support for Ukraine doesn't detail any plan to send warships to the Black Sea.

The Ministry of Defence has not made any announcement of the U.K. military's involvement in the blockade. A search of the ministry's Twitter account for "Black Sea" didn't generate any results that corroborated the claim, although the ministry did provide an update on the blockade on May 25, 2022.

Similarly, the Royal Navy has not announced that warships have been sent to the Black Sea for the purpose of stopping the blockade. Searches of "Black Sea," "Ukraine" and "blockade" on the Royal Navy's news page didn't generate any results that confirmed the claim.

Lead Stories reached out to the Royal Navy about the claim and will update this fact check with any response.

More Lead Stories fact checks related to the 2022 Russia-Ukraine conflict can be found here.

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  Christiana Dillard

Christiana Dillard is a former news writer for Temple University’s Lew Klein College of Media and Communication. She received her undergraduate degree in English Writing from the University of Pittsburgh. She has been a freelance writer for several organizations including the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation, Pitt Magazine, and The Heinz Endowments. When she’s not producing or studying media she’s binging it, watching YouTube videos or any interesting series she can find on streaming services.

Read more about or contact Christiana Dillard

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