No evidence Russian missile strike hit ‘NATO logistics hub’ in Ukraine

3 June 2024
What was claimed

A video shows the aftermath of a Russian missile strike on 17 May in Odessa, Ukraine, which “eliminated a large NATO logistics hub”.

Our verdict

Although the video does show the damage caused by a Russian missile strike in Odessa, there is no evidence this was a NATO building.

A video circulating on Facebook and X (formerly Twitter) is being shared with claims it shows the aftermath of a Russian missile strike on a “large NATO logistics hub” in Odessa, Ukraine. However, there is no evidence the building depicted has anything to do with NATO. 

NATO told Full Fact that the building depicted in the video was not a NATO building. 

The video itself has the State Service for Emergency Situations of Ukraine’s logo and abbreviation ДСНС watermarked in the top left corner. This organisation shared images similar to those seen in the video on Telegram on 17 May, with reports of an attack on Odessa. It said this had resulted in a warehouse catching fire, killing one person and injuring eight others. 

The pictures it posted on Telegram matched many of the scenes shown in the video circulating on social media such as the large rectangular grey building on fire, the positioning of firefighters attempting to put it out, and cranes. 

The National Police of Ukraine also posted about the attack and said civil infrastructure was damaged as a result of the fires. NATO was not mentioned in any other official reports of the attack.

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What is Ukraine’s relationship with NATO?

Ukraine is not a NATO member, but a partner country. This means that it cooperates closely with NATO but it is not covered by the security guarantee, which says if one member country is attacked, it should be considered an attack on them all.

NATO allies and partners have provided billions of dollars to Ukraine since Russia’s invasion in February 2022. In answer to an FAQ on why NATO hasn’t sent troops on its website, NATO says its actions are “defensive, designed not to provoke conflict but to prevent conflict”and that enforcing a no-fly zone would “bring NATO forces into direct conflict with Russia” which it says “would significantly escalate the war and lead to more human suffering and destruction for all countries involved”.

Ukraine is on the path to becoming a NATO member, however. In 2008, NATO allies agreed that Ukraine would become a member

At the 2023 Vilnius Summit, NATO allies reaffirmed that Ukraine would be invited to join NATO “when allies agree and when conditions are met”. In February 2024, the secretary general of NATO Jens Stoltenberg said “Ukraine will join Nato. It is not a question of if, but of when”. 

It’s important to consider whether something shows what it claims to before sharing it—you can read more about this in our guides to verifying images and videos online.

Image courtesy of Peter Muscutt

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