Fact Check: NATO Did NOT Clash With Russia In The Black Sea Near The Coast Of Bulgaria

проверка на факти

  • от: Lead Stories автор
Fact Check: NATO Did NOT Clash With Russia In The Black Sea Near The Coast Of Bulgaria Clickbait

Did a clash take place between the armed forces of Russia and NATO at the end of July 2023 in the Black Sea around 40 km (24.8 miles) from the coast of Bulgaria? No, that's not true: There are no credible reports of an armed clash between NATO and Russian forces in the Black Sea, an event that would certainly be reported by NATO and Russian government sources and by credible media covering the area. The post uses a dramatic and false headline as clickbait to draw readers to a particular website and article.

The claim appeared in a video on TikTok (archived here) published by @backwords_internationale on July 28, 2023.

The Bulgarian caption translated by Lead Stories staff reads:

Breaking! NATO clash with Russia in the Black Sea 40 km from our beaches!

Link in the comments.

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

Screenshot 2023-08-09 at 8.56.04.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Wed Aug 9 05:59:47 2023 UTC)

The TikTok video leads to a FB post displaying a website and an article by Nikolay Barekov. The article itself does not claim that a clash took place in the Black Sea and the TikTok post leading to the FB page and article appears to be clickbait intended to draw visitors to the website.

No official reports or news reports from credible media of serious incidents or direct clashes between NATO and Russia exist. A search for different phrases of the Bulgarian text in the video in both English and Bulgarian using Google News' index of thousands of credible news sites did not return any such reports.

According to various Bulgarian news agencies, Barekov, described as a Bulgarian politician and journalist, has been sued several times for controversial and offensive statements, slander, and the use of media materials without permission or copyright approval. In 2015, the website and its owner Barekov were convicted of defamation.

The article behind the clickbait is based on a July 18, 2023, Russian announcement that it intends to conduct "exercises" after pulling out of a deal to allow grain exports from Ukraine on July 17, 2023, and that it would threaten to attack merchant ships carrying grain from Ukraine.

Russia's naval exercises aim to limit commercial shipping access to Ukrainian ports and close a zone declared by the Russian side as a "warning zone" Part of the zone also covers the territorial waters of Bulgaria, a member of NATO. According to a NATO statement:

Allies noted that Russia's new warning area in the Black Sea, within Bulgaria's exclusive economic zone, has created new risks for miscalculation and escalation, as well as serious impediments to freedom of navigation. this creates risks of escalating the situation in the region.

The last report of a situation in the Black Sea region between NATO and Russia was on August 5, 2023, when a US Air Force drone was intercepted by a Russian Su-30 fighter jet, forcing the US drone to turn around and return to its base. The situation passed without serious incident.

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