Fact Check: Danish Navy Did NOT Open Fire As Russian Warships Entered Territorial Waters On June 17, 2022

Fact Check

  • by: Courtney Kealy
Fact Check: Danish Navy Did NOT Open Fire As Russian Warships Entered Territorial Waters On June 17, 2022 Did Not Fire

Did the Danish navy open fire as Russian warships entered territorial waters on June 17, 2022? No, that's not true: According to a statement from Denmark's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the situation was handled diplomatically, not militarily.

The claim appeared in a video (archived here) published on YouTube on June 17, 2022, under the title "Attack on Russian warships! The Danish Navy opened fire as Russian warships entered territorial sea."

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

Screen Shot 2022-06-22 at 5.32.29 PM.png

(Source: YouTube screenshot taken on Wed Jun 22 21:12:09 2022 UTC)

Click below to watch the video on YouTube:

While the video opens with a narrator saying, "Shoot, sink it -- Demark opened fire to attack Russian warships for daring to encroach on territorial waters ... " there is nothing shown in the video to substantiate that statement. Indeed, at 1:40 in the video the narrator says the Russian ship left "so no fighting took place."

In an email to Lead Stories on June 21, 2022, Sissel Christine Søe Böss, the acting head of press at the Danish Foreign Ministry, wrote, "It is not true that Danish navy opened fire last week." She included a link to the official statement, which said that a Russian warship entered and then left territorial waters after the Danish navy made radio contact. The Russian ambassador to Denmark met with the Foreign Ministry to discuss Russian violations of Danish territorial waters.

The statement quotes Minister of Foreign Affairs Jeppe Kofod who said:

Let me be clear: bullying methods do not work against Denmark. We will not accept that kind of Russian provocation. That is why we respond consistently and promptly. I think it is telling that while we in Denmark celebrate democracy, free speech and democracy at the People's Assembly, Russia chooses to come forward with such provocations with military vessels. It speaks for itself.

Kofod also said that it had been communicated very clearly to the Russian ambassador that violation of Danish territorial waters not long after a Russian military aircraft violated Danish airspace was unacceptable.

In an email to Lead Stories on June 21, 2022, Dylan White, a NATO press officer, confirmed the Danish authorities' account, saying the video is nothing like what actually happened: "A Russian warship entered and then left territorial waters after the Danish navy made radio contact."

News coverage by major news organizations including The Washington Post echoed such statements, with the Post quoting the Danish armed forces Defense Command as saying, "The Russian vessel left after it was contacted on marine two-way radio by the Danish navy."

Want to inform others about the accuracy of this story?

See who is sharing it (it might even be your friends...) and leave the link in the comments.:


  Courtney Kealy

Courtney Kealy is a writer and fact-checker at Lead Stories. A graduate of Columbia University’s School of Journalism, she specializes in national and foreign affairs with more than two decades experience in the Middle East. Her work has appeared on FOX News, AlJazeera America, ABC News, the New York Times, Marie Claire, Time and Newsweek.

Read more about or contact Courtney Kealy

About us

International Fact-Checking Organization

Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, deceptive or inaccurate stories (or media) making the rounds on the internet.
Spotted something? Let us know!.

Lead Stories is a:


Follow us on social media

Most Read

Most Recent

Share your opinion