Russia’s S-500 Radar, US’ Global Hawk UAV ‘Annihilated’ In Info War: Bloggers Continue To Make Wild Claims

Days after some pro-Krelmin Telegram channel claimed that the Russian military had shot down a US RQ-4B Global Hawk UAV over the Black Sea, a new set of claims are hitting social media, suggesting Ukrainian forces might have destroyed the radar of Russia’s cutting-edge S-500 air defense system.

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As the info war runs in full swing, a Ukrainian military channel, ‘TIVAZ,’ took to Telegram to claim that an ATACMS strike had been conducted on Russia, resulting in the alleged damage of a radar of the S-500 Prometheus deployed in Crimea.

Ukraine has not officially confirmed the report, nor has the Ukrainian channel provided any credible evidence to substantiate its claims.

However, as soon as the claims were made, they went viral on social media site X (previously Twitter), with several pro-Ukrainian military bloggers jumping on the bandwagon to celebrate the unverified strike on the most advanced air defense system in Russia’s arsenal.

The Ukrainian war tracking channels went on to say that the strike could be the first ever on a component of the S-500 complex and hailed the capability of the ATACMS, which has recently gained fame with several high-value attacks. At the time of writing this report, the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) had not acknowledged the claims. 

Notably, the claims come just days after Ukraine launched a devastating  ATACMS missile strike on Sevastopol, Crimea, killing four people, including two children, and injuring at least 150. At the time, some Ukrainian publications claimed that ATACMS had defeated Russia’s S-500 AD system for the first time. The report claimed Sevastopol is a key element of Russia’s military infra and central to the air defense of Crimea.

The recent claims about the strike on an S-500 have backed the argument that Russia recently deployed the S-500 air defense system to Crimea, as the S-400 demonstrated its inability to protect the Russian airspace. 

Ukrainian Defense Intelligence (HUR) chief Kyrylo Budanov announced on June 12 that Russia had relocated one of its most sophisticated S-500 air defense systems to the seized Crimean Peninsula to defend the Kerch Bridge. “We have seen the latest S-500 elements appear in [occupied Crimea],” he told the broadcaster. “This will be quite an experimental application. But they are already there.” 

After Budanov’s claims were published in the media, military analysts noted that Russia is likely securing the Kerch Bridge against Ukrainian attacks, given its strategic significance and vulnerability to Ukrainian attacks. The bridge has been targeted by Ukrainian forces on multiple occasions. 

Currently, there is no information on where the S-500 was targeted. 

File Image: S-500

The S-500 Prometheus is a Russian surface-to-air missile/anti-ballistic missile system that supplements the S-400. This air defense system is a cutting-edge advancement in Russian military technology designed to address the evolving threats posed by modern aerial warfare. It is a theatre ballistic missile defense system. The advanced features of the system make the Ukrainian claims more significant.

In the absence of any visual evidence or confirmation by either the Ukrainian or Russian military, these are mere claims. The ongoing Ukraine war has been beset with a surge in ambitious claims made intermittently by both sides. In many instances, the claims have either proven to be mere disinformation or misinformation.

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Bogus Claims About Global Hawk Shooting

Earlier this week, in the aftermath of the Ukrainian ATACMS strike on Crimea, claims emerged on social media suggesting that the Russian forces had shot down a US RQ-4B Global Hawk Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) over the Black Sea.

These claims were made by well-known Russian military bloggers, such as Fighterbomber, who is said to have strong connections to the Kremlin. A few of these bloggers claimed on the messaging app Telegram that a US RQ-4B UAV was shot down over the Black Sea by a Russian MiG-31 interceptor. Some even mentioned that the pilot who completed the operation received praise from Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

Fighter-bomber channel said: “If [the Yankees] fly again, it means that they are quite prepared for the loss of a Global Hawk (or even more than one).”

None of the claims were backed by any concrete evidence. The claims also evoked skepticism, given that a Russian shootdown of a US UAV has the potential to cause escalation between the Kremlin and NATO.

An RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft like the one shown is currently flying non-military mapping missions over South and Central America and the Caribbean at the request of partner nations in the region. (U.S. Air Force photo/Bobbi Zapka)

Later, Russian authorities said that they were unable to verify claims that an American surveillance drone was shot down by a Russian fighter jet over the Black Sea.

When probed about the reported downing of an American drone at a daily briefing, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov replied, “To be honest, I don’t have this kind of information.” Moreover, the Russian MoD did not release any statement in relation to an incident between a Global Hawk aircraft and its warplanes over the Black Sea.

As evidenced by the official statement from Russia, the claims turned out to be bogus and were lamented by several Russian and Ukrainian forces alike.

However, EurAsian Times understands it may be too early to establish whether the Ukrainian forces indeed struck an S-500 radar. An official confirmation from the Ukrainian Defense Ministry is awaited.