Ukrainian forces claim to have taken out Russia’s Black Sea flagship “Moskva” with a missile strike, while Russian officials say a fire on board had caused ammunition to start exploding. Here is what we know so far.
The pride of Russia’s navy, missile cruiser “Moskva,” has sunk while being towed into port, Russian officials confirmed.
The loss of the cruiser named after the Russian capital is a significant blow to Russia’s naval prestige and greatly reduces its navy’s firepower in the Black Sea. But Ukraine and Russia have offered different accounts on what happened with the Russian warship.
What does Ukraine say happened to ‘Moskva’?
According to Ukrainian officials, its military targeted “Moskva” with Turkish-made Bayraktar drones to take out the ship’s radar system, and followed it up with a missile strike.
The ship was allegedly hit with two “Neptune” cruise missiles. The missiles, which were developed by Ukrainians and entered service in August 2020, have a range of around 300 kilometers (186 miles) and can carry warheads of up 150 kilograms (over 330 pounds).
Destroying “Moskva” with a missile strike is a major psychological boost for the Ukrainians, as the ship was previously involved in a standoff with Ukrainian soldiers on Snake Island which became the symbol of Ukraine’s defiance in the opening days of the war.
How has Russia responded?
Russia’s Defense Ministry spoke of a “fire” which detonated ammunition aboard the Soviet-era vessel. The cause of the fire, according to the ministry, is still being investigated. They did not mention a Ukrainian attack.
“The ship has suffered serious damage,” they said in a statement, adding that the ship’s 500+ crew has been “fully evacuated.”
Russian officials said that the fire onboard has been localized and the ammunition was no longer exploding. They also said the navy would tow the flagship vessel into port. Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Russian president had been informed about the incident.
Later on Thursday, however, Russian defense ministry confirmed that the ship had sunk while being towed in “stormy conditions” due to hull damage sustained during the fire.
What is Washington’s take?
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told CNN that both narratives — a fire on board and a Ukrainian missile strike — were “possible.” Other sources indicate cloud cover made satellite imaging ineffective at the time of the incident.
Later, news agencies cited a senior US official as saying a blaze was detected when the vessel was 60 to 65 nautical miles (111-120 kilometers, 69-75 miles) south of Odesa. It was now moving to the Crimean port of Sevastopol.
The ship was allegedly heading towards Sevastopol
“Our assessment is that she still appears to be battling a fire on board” hours later, the official added.
Also, despite Russia saying all crew members had been evacuated and the vessel would be towed, the US believed the ship was still moving under its own power.
What do we know about ‘Moskva’?
“Moskva” was the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea fleet. It is a 186-meters (612 feet), 11,500-ton cruiser first launched in 1979 from a shipyard in Ukraine, which was then a Soviet republic. The ship is armed with 16 Vulcan anti-ship cruise missiles with a range of at least 700 km (440 miles). It is also equipped with a version of an S-300 anti-aircraft system.
In 2015, the ship led Russia’s naval force in the Mediterranean Sea during the military campaign in Syria. In 2018, it was taken into dock for scheduled repairs and returned to service in September 2020.
Last year, Russia’s former top navy commander Viktor Kravchenko described it as a “the most serious ship in the Black Sea.”
Have you received Salvation from Jesus the Messiah? Time is running out. Jesus will return very soon. The signs of His return are everywhere in this crazy world we are living in. Please read below so that you can be saved. Jesus is the only way to Heaven. The Words below are directly from the Bible, so you can trust them.
For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures. (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:6)
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. (John 3:16-17)
If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all )is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:9-13)
“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. IF YOU KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. (John 15:9)
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
For those of us who persevere and do what Jesus says to do, we have this to look forward to in eternity: And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
The Bible – New King James Version, NKJV