Russia’s defense ministry says the Russian warship, Moskva damaged by Ukraine soldiers on Wednesday has sunk
According to a government message, the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet was being hauled to port when “stormy waves” forced it to sink.
The 510 crew missile cruiser, which led Russia’s naval attack on Ukraine, was a symbol of the country’s military might.
Kyiv claims that its rockets struck the cruiser.
Moscow has denied any attack and claims the ship sank due to a fire.
According to Russia, the conflagration caused the warship’s ammunition to explode, and the whole crew was eventually evacuated to adjacent Russian boats in the Black Sea.
After first stating that the battleship was floating, the Russian defense ministry revealed late Thursday that the Moskva had been lost.
The 12,490-tonne warship is the largest Russian warship sunk in combat since WWII.
“The vessel lost its balance while being pulled… towards the destination port due to hull damage caused by a fire that broke out after munitions exploded.
The ship sank due to the rough waves “According to the Russian Defense Ministry.
Ukrainian military officials stated they hit the Moskva with Ukrainian-made Neptune missiles, a weapon developed in response to Russia’s takeover of Crimea in 2014, which increased the Black Sea naval danger to Ukraine.
The sinking of the ship was hailed by US authorities as a “major blow,” but they were unable to determine whether Ukrainian Neptune missiles were to blame.
According to a senior Ukrainian officer, the Moskva could have had up to 510 crew members on board.
The Moskva earned notoriety on the first day of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, on February 24, when it called on a small garrison of Ukrainian border troops holding Snake Island in the Black Sea to surrender.
The Moskva was built during the Soviet era and entered service in the early 1980s.
The ship was built in Mykolaiv, Ukraine’s southernmost city, which has recently been badly attacked by Russia.