Was Lloyd Austin Just Killed In Ukraine?!

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Was US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin just killed in Ukraine by Russian hypersonic cruise missiles?!

Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the FACTS really are!


Claim : Lloyd Austin Was Just Killed In Ukraine!

On 16 January 2024, Real Raw News posted an article (archive) claiming that US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin was just killed in Ukraine by a Russian cruise missile strike!

As usual, the article is long, rambling and confusing, so here is an excerpt. Please feel free to skip to the next section for the facts!

White Hats Confirm Lloyd Austin Killed in Ukraine

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Was Lloyd Austin Just Killed In Ukraine?!


Truth : Lloyd Austin Was Not Killed In Ukraine!

The truth is – this is just another FAKE STORY created by Real Raw News, just to generate page views and money.

Fact #1 : Real Raw News Is A Fake News Website

Real Raw News is a fake news website that capitalises on making shocking but fake stories to generate page views and money.

To protect himself from legal repercussions, the owner and writer, Michael Baxter (real name – Michael Tuffin), claims that his articles are “humour, parody, and satire“.

That disclaimer, which is not clearly mentioned in his articles, lets him keep creating fake news to go viral, and generate money.

His articles have been regularly debunked as fake news, so you should NEVER share anything from his website. Here are some of his fake stories that I debunked earlier:

Everything posted by Real Raw News must be regarded as FAKE NEWS, until proven otherwise.

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Michael Baxter Michael Tuffin Real Raw News

Fact #2 : Lloyd Austin Is Not Dead

This is really silly, but it has to be said – US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III is not dead. Neither was he killed in Ukraine by Russian cruise missiles.

If anything happened to Lloyd Austin III, not only would the Biden Administration have been informed, so would the US Congress. It would also have been reported by the press all over the world.

The lack of any legitimate report of his death is even more impossible after the recent political brouhaha over Lloyd Austin belatedly informing the Biden Administration and the US Congress that he was hospitalised for prostate cancer surgery.

In fact, Lloyd Austin has just been called to testify before the House Armed Services Committee on 14 February 2023, over his failure to notify the White House about his recent hospitalisation. Do you think anyone would have kept his “death” a secret?

The truth is – Lloyd Austin is very much still alive, after being released from the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Monday, 15 January 2024. On 19 January – 3 days after Real Raw News claimed that he was killed in Ukraine, he even had a voice call meeting with the Swedish Minister of Defense, Pål Jonson.

Fact #3 : Hypersonic Missiles Are Very Expensive

Real Raw News absurdly claimed that Lloyd Austin was killed by 20 hypersonic cruise missiles, when only one would have been sufficient. Okay, fine, you can throw in a second “just to be sure’.

Russia only has one hypersonic cruise missile in service – the 3M22 Zircon (Tsirkon / Циркон), known to NATO as SS-N-33. With a top speed of Mach 9, the 3M22 Zircon has the kinetic energy to easily penetrate bunkers. You don’t need 20 of them. You only need one.

It is also important to note that Zircon is extremely expensive to make, reportedly costing some $210 million per missile. If Russia actually fired 20 of them – that’s US$4.2 billion to destroy a single bunker. Not only is that an extravagant waste of money, Russia only started deploying the Zircon in January 2023, and has very few of them.

If Russia ever used a Zircon in Ukraine, it would have been reported by TASS, as well as military observers and the Ukrainian media. It never did. The Zircon remains the only missile that Russia has not deployed in Ukraine.

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33M2 Zircon Tsirkon hypersonic cruise missile

Fact #4 : Marine Cyberspace Command Does Not Authenticate Identities

Real Raw News laughably claimed that Russian forces stormed Kyiv to retrieve Lloyd Austin’s fingerprints. Never mind, they barely moved the frontline since October 2022. Russian forces are currently several hundred kilometres away from Kyiv.

It doesn’t even make sense for Russia to retrieve his fingerprints, especially when Ukraine and the United States would be able to authenticate Lloyd Austin’s death. On top of that – it absurdly claims that the prints and photos were authenticated by a Cyberspace Command unit!

The US Marine Corps Forces Cyberspace Command (MARFORCYBER) is a cybersecurity and cyberwarfare unit. It is meant to protect critical network infrastructure, and conduct cyberattacks. What it does not do is authenticate fingerprints and photos.

Everything posted by Real Raw News should be regarded as FAKE NEWS.

Please help us FIGHT FAKE NEWS by sharing this fact check article out, and please SUPPORT our work!


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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.


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