Fact Check: Sweden Did NOT Confirm The Loss Of All Leopard 2A5 Tanks Delivered To Ukraine

Fact Check

  • by: Alexis Tereszcuk

STORY UPDATED: check for updates below.

Fact Check: Sweden Did NOT Confirm The Loss Of All Leopard 2A5 Tanks Delivered To Ukraine Did Not Affirm

Did Sweden confirm the loss of all Leopard 2A5 tanks delivered to Ukraine? No, that's not true. The government of Sweden did not confirm the loss of the tanks, both the press officer for the Swedish Defence Minister and a spokesperson for the Swedish armed forces told Lead Stories. A post making the claim gives no evidence nor does it cite any sources in Sweden or elsewhere.

The claim appeared in a post (archived here) where it was published on Twitter on September 26, 2023. It opened:

Sweden confirmed the loss of ALL by Leopard 2A5 tanks of the #Swedish modification Strv 122, which were delivered to #Ukraine. Their losses amounted to 10 out of 10 such tanks delivered.

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

Screenshot 2023-10-01 at 17.47.21.png

Twitter screenshot

(Source: X.com screenshot taken on Mon Oct 2 19:01:44 2023 UTC)


"The number of tanks donated to Ukraine is 10 (model Stridsvagn 122 / Leopard 2A5), which was announced in February," Johan Hjelmstrand, press officer for Swedish Defence Minister Pål Jonson told Lead Stories via email on October 2, 2023. "But I am not familiar with the claim that they have been lost."

"The Swedish Armed Forces has made no such statement," a spokesperson for the Armed Forces Department of Communications and Public Affairs told Lead Stories via email on October 3, 2023.

There were no credible news reports of a loss of all 10 Swedish tanks given to Ukraine at the time of writing. A Google search (archived here) of the keywords "sweden loss of all by leopard 2a5 tanks delivered to ukraine," yielded zero results for the claim.

In September 2023, the Swedish Armed Forces announced that they had donated 10 tanks to Ukraine in February 2023 in their fight against the Russian invasion. Information posted on the website of the armed forces (archived here) said:

There is no doubt that the German armoured tank Leopard 2 -- in Swedish called stridsvagn 122 -- is among the best in the world. For more than 30 years, it has constituted the backbone of Swedish mechanised brigades. Now, the Ukrainian army has some ten tanks to use in their fight to free their country. The tanks are manned by soldiers that were trained in Sweden, by the Swedish army.

Forbes reported on September 23, 2023, that two of the ten tanks given by Sweden were damaged in an article titled, "The Russians Just Knocked Out A Fifth Of The Ukrainians' Best Strv 122 Tanks" (archived here). The article said:

Explosives-laden Russian drones damaged two rare Strv 122 tanks belonging to the Ukrainian army's 21st Mechanized Brigade, 10 miles west of Svatove in eastern Ukraine's Donbas region, on or before Friday.

But there was nothing to indicate the status of the remained eight tanks.

Other Lead Stories articles on claims related to the war in Ukraine are here.

Updates:

  • 2023-10-03T15:59:57Z 2023-10-03T15:59:57Z
    Adds October 3, 2023, response from spokesperson for the Swedish Armed Forces.

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  Alexis Tereszcuk

Alexis Tereszcuk is a writer and fact checker at Lead Stories and an award-winning journalist who spent over a decade breaking hard news and celebrity scoop with RadarOnline and Us Weekly.

As the Entertainment Editor, she investigated Hollywood stories and conducted interviews with A-list celebrities and reality stars.  

Alexis’ crime reporting earned her spots as a contributor on the Nancy Grace show, CNN, Fox News and Entertainment Tonight, among others.

Read more about or contact Alexis Tereszcuk

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