Russian media claim that the Ukrainian port of Yuzhniy, close to Odessa, was forced to shut down for up to a year after a U.S. tanker destroyed its pier – an incident that was quickly debunked as disinformation.
According to the reports, the coal tanker rammed into the pier, inflicting “severe” damage and “serious consequences for Ukraine’s economy.”
The story was published by Lenta.ru, Zvezda television channel, Vesti television programme, and Strana.ua.
In reality, the incident involved a Maltese ship and caused limited damage. The administration of Yuzhniy’s port said on its Facebook page that it was operating normally and had not closed for a single day.
It’s not the first time that pro-Kremlin media spread disinformation about deliveries of U.S. coal to Ukraine. The United States began shipping coal to Ukraine in July 2017 in an effort to help the country reduce its reliance on Russian energy. Separatists backed by Russia currently control much of Ukraine’s coal-rich eastern region.