Russian warship Moskva downed by Ukraine

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 threat to Ukraine.

Russian warship Moskva downed by Ukraine
Russian warship Moskva downed by Ukraine

Moscow: a Russian warship that was damaged by an explosion on Wednesday has sunk, according to Russia's defence ministry statement.

 According to the  ministry, the flagship of Russia's Black Sea Fleet, Moskva, was being hauled to port when it sank due to "stormy waves." 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 blaze 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 defence ministry revealed late Thursday that the Moskva had been lost.

The 12,490-tonne warship is the largest Russian warship sunk in combat since World War Two.

"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 threat 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.

"It's absolutely probable and possible," Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby told CNN, "that [Ukraine] did in fact hit this with a Neptune missile or maybe more."

According to a senior Ukrainian officer, the Moskva could have had up to 510 crew members on board.

The Moskva acquired infamy on the first day of Russia's invasion of Ukraine when it called on a small garrison of Ukrainian border troops defending Snake Island in the Black Sea to surrender, to which they radioed an expletive-laden message of refuse.

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.

The guided-missile cruiser was previously deployed by Moscow in the Syrian crisis, providing naval security to Russian forces in the nation.

It was said to be armed with 16 Vulkan anti-ship missiles as well as anti-submarine and mine-torpedo capabilities.

The Moskva's major purpose, according to intelligence specialist Justin Crump of BBC Radio 4's Today, was to provide air defence support to other ships in Russia's Black Sea fleet.

"Its main advantages were anti-air and anti-surface ship armament systems with extremely great ranges. It wasn't carrying out strikes on the beach” Crump told Today on BBC Radio 4.

Admiral Lord West, former First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff, stated the ship's loss was "extremely embarrassing" in addition to being a military setback.

"This has a significant impact," Lord West told BBC Radio 4's PM before the Moskva's sinking was confirmed.

"Putin is a big fan of the navy. When he took leadership, the navy was the first part of the old Soviet military that he focused on. He's had a warm place for it since he was a kid."

It is Russia's second significant vessel to be lost since the invasion began. In March, a Ukrainian offensive in Berdyansk, a Sea of Azov Ukrainian port controlled by Russia, damaged the Saratov landing ship.