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It’s official: the Russian cruiser Moskva has sunk

Thursday, 14 April 2022, 22:54
It’s official: the Russian cruiser Moskva has sunk

Denys Karlovskyy - Thursday, 14 April 2022, 22:54

The Russian missile cruiser Moskva, gutted by fire, has sunk while being towed to Sevastopol.

Source: Russian state media "RIA Novosti" quoting the Ministry of Defence

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Details: The Russian Ministry of Defence insists that the ship's hull was severely damaged due to the detonation of munitions on board.

According to Russian military officials, the flagship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet sank "due to stormy conditions while being towed to the port of Sevastopol."

The Russians did not admit that the cruiser suffered damage as a result of a Ukrainian missile strike on 13 April.

Reference: The Moskva missile cruiser was the flagship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, which controlled warship formations, reconnaissance and air defence, as well as missile attacks on Ukraine.

The ship was commissioned in December 1982. Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev used this ship to travel to Malta for talks with US President George W. Bush in 1989. The ship was also involved in Russia's combat operations against Georgia in 2008, and it was also deployed to reinforce the Russian military contingent in Syria.

According to the Ukrainian military-political leadership, the famous statement by Ukrainian border guards, "Russian warship, go f**k yourself", was addressed to the Moskva cruiser.

Its loss will significantly weaken the anti-aircraft and anti-missile protection of groups of Russian Black Sea Fleet ships near the Ukrainian coast, as most of the anti-aircraft systems for the protection of Russian Black Sea Fleet ships were located on it. In addition to the loss of the command-and-control centre, the loss of  the Moskva would deal a serious blow to the image of the Russian Navy.

Background:

  • On the evening of 13 April, it was reported that  Ukrainian "Neptune" anti-ship missiles had hit the missile cruiser Moskva of the Russian Black Sea Fleet. After that, the cruiser with 16 cruise missiles was forced out of action.
  • On 14 April, the Russian Ministry of Defence confirmed that the "Moskva'' missile cruiser caught fire, but blamed everything on the accidental detonation of ammunition. The command reported the incident personally to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
  • In the afternoon of 14 April, the Ukrainian military command announced that the Moskva missile cruiser had capsized and begun to sink after the fire caused by the attack.
  • The Pentagon was cautious about commenting on the cause of the fire on April 14, but confirmed that "Moskva" was out of action and was being towed to Sevastopol naval port for repairs.

Forbes estimates the loss of "Moskva" at $750 million for Russia's military budget.

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