The most important ship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet – the missile cruiser “Moskva” – was severely damaged due to the detonation of ammunition on board. Earlier, the governor of Odessa said that Ukrainian forces damaged the warship with missile strikes, but did not provide any evidence.
But Russia’s Interfax news agency later quoted Moscow’s defense ministry as saying the entire crew had been evacuated and the cause of the fire was investigated. Interfax reported that the ammunition on board detonated and caused serious damage.
“Neptune defense missiles protecting the Black Sea caused very serious damage to the Russian ship. Glory to Ukraine! ”The governor of Odessa Maksym Marchenko wrote in the Telegram.
Adviser to the President of Ukraine Oleksiy Arestovych stated that “the surprise happened to the flagship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet” “Moskva” – a 600-foot missile cruiser built as a project 1164 “Slava” with a displacement of 12,500 tons, first launched in 1979. “It burns strongly. Right now. And with this stormy sea, it is unknown whether they will be able to get help. There are 510 people in the crew,” he said on a YouTube broadcast. – We do not understand what happened.
Although not a new ship, the cruiser is equipped with 16 stationary launchers for P-1000 anti-ship missiles and rail launchers for 40 “Osa” missiles. The missile cruiser usually has a crew of more than 500 people and contains complex vertical tubes for 64 S-300 air defense missiles and many guns, which makes its firepower one of a kind. Despite the significant characteristics of “Moskva”, the ship was badly damaged when ammunition exploded on board, Interfax reported on Thursday, citing the Ministry of Defense. In April 2021, the agency quoted the words of a retired Russian admiral: “This is the most serious ship in the Black Sea.”
When news of the blast arrived, weather conditions in the Black Sea were reported to be bad, raising questions about whether the warship would be able to stay afloat if it was severely damaged in the blast and evacuated.
It also happened days after British Prime Minister Borys Johnson met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv and promised to send 120 armored personnel carriers and new anti-ship missile systems to Ukraine to help fight Russia.
“Moskva” became infamous at the beginning of the war with Russia, when Ukrainian border guards defending the strategically important Snake Island made a viral audio: “Russian warship, f**k off” after the cruiser team called on them to surrender. 13 defenders of the island were taken into custody by Russian troops and then released. Roman Gribov, who made the famous comment, received a medal.
Last month, Ukraine destroyed a large Russian landing ship, “Orsk”, in the Sea of Azov northeast of the Black Sea. Moscow does not comment on the incident with the ship, but satellite images show that a large ship was destroyed and partially sunk in Berdyansk.