The Russian Navy’s Black Sea flagship, the guided-missile cruiser Moskva, sank on Thursday night, a day after Ukraine said it fired missiles at the warship.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, as reported by state media Tass, the ship sank during a towing operation. “During the towing of the cruiser Moskva to the port of destination, the ship lost its stability due to hull damage received during the fire from the detonation of ammunition. In rough sea conditions, the vessel sank,” the ministry said.
The Russian authorities initially said the ship had been “severely damaged” due to a fire on board, without acknowledging an attack. The 500 crew members were evacuated, the Russian ministry said.
Ukraine said its army fired on the Moskva. “Neptune missiles guarding the Black Sea caused very serious damage to the Russian ship,” Maksym Marchenko, head of the Odessa regional military administration, said on Telegram.
Moskva and her crew were memorably told “fuck you” by a Ukrainian soldier during the attack on Snake Island at the start of the Russian invasion.
Early Friday, explosions were heard in Kyiv, Ukrainian MP Lesia Vasylenko wrote on Twitter. The lawmaker said three explosions were heard in the capital, adding that “most likely [Russian President Vladimir] Putin turned livid from the sinking of the Moskva.
In an overnight address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy praised Ukrainians for surviving 50 days under the Russian invasion and paid tribute to “those who showed that Russian ships can go… to the bottom uniquely”.