What countries and the US say about the sunken ship

On Thursday (14), Russia suffered an important casualty: the sinking of the ship Moskva, considered a symbol of the country’s military might. In the war with Ukraine, the vessel — a missile launcher weighing 12,500 tons and 186 m in length — played a strategic role in the conquest of Ukrainian ports, such as Mariupol, on the Sea of ​​Azov.

Russia claims the ship caught fire and sank after a fire in its own ammunition, while Ukraine claims responsibility for attacks that led to the loss of the vessel. The United States corroborates the Ukrainian version. Neither version can be independently confirmed.

Start of fire and shipwreck

All the mess with the Moscow started last Wednesday night (13) (from the Kiev time zone), when European Union sources and Ukrainian authorities said that missiles anti-shipof the type neptunewere launched by Ukraine towards the Black Sea.

Only on Thursday morning (14), Russia assumed the vessel was on fire, and has since insisted on the version that it was from a fire in the ammunition that was inside the ship, and not an external attack.

Throughout the day, officials observed how the Moskva would behave after the fire. At around 2 pm (local time – 8 am GMT) on Thursday, the Southern Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine announced: the ship had sunk.

Just at 22:00 (local time) on Thursday, Russia confirmed the vessel’s sinking “due to stormy conditions while towing to the port of Sevastopol”, according to the Defense Ministry.

Nor is it known for certain the conditions of the ship’s crew, about 500 military personnel.

The Russians claim that the entire crew has been evacuated. Ukraine maintains that vessels were sent to assist in the evacuation of the ship, but were hampered by a storm and that there was no evacuation of the ship.

Detail of Russian missile launcher Moskva when it was in the Black Sea - Denis Sinyakov/Reuters - Denis Sinyakov/Reuters

Detail of Russian missile launcher Moskva when it was in the Black Sea

Image: Denis Sinyakov/Reuters

The Ukrainian newspaper Pravda released satellite information, from the Naval News website. According to analysis of the infrared images, the first big explosion happened at 6:52 am (local time), on Wednesday, when several Russian ships were close to the stricken vessel.

The position of the Moskva, according to the analysis, corroborates the version that there was an attack by Ukraine, since the vessel was in the area reached by the missiles.

What does the US say

The US corroborates the Ukrainian version. According to a US Department of Defense official, the ship sank after being hit by two missiles.

The official called the incident a “hard blow” for Russia, according to the AFP news agency. “We estimate that [o navio] was hit by two [mísseis] Neptunes,” the official, who requested anonymity, told reporters.

The American official did not, however, confirm the version that the Ukrainian army had distracted the Moskva’s defense with a drone on one side of the boat, while Neptune anti-ship cruise missiles hit it from the other side.

“We believe there were casualties, but it’s hard to know how many,” he said. The source also reported, always according to AFP, that other Russian ships helped to evacuate the vessel.

The official added that, under the Montreux Convention, “Turkey does not authorize warships to enter the Black Sea, and [os russos] will not be able to replace it with another Slava class ship”.

Impact of the loss of the ship

In the opinion of the United Kingdom, the sinking of Moscow it is the second considerable loss for Russia during the war in Ukraine, which could force it to “review its maritime posture”.

British intelligence points out that, on March 24, the ship Saratovfrom class alligator, was also rendered useless. THE Saratov was hit by a great fire and destroyed, but did not sink.

According to The New York Times, the Moskva sinking is the most important naval loss since 1982, when Argentina sank the British military ship. Sheffield and hit other vessels in the Falklands War.

The most important ship in the Russian Black Sea fleet, the Moskva - REUTERS/Alexey Pavlishak - REUTERS/Alexey Pavlishak

The most important ship of the Russian fleet in the Black Sea, the Moskva

Image: REUTERS/Alexey Pavlishak

In addition to the political and military loss, a possible nuclear impact has not been ruled out.

On Facebook, andrii Klymenkoproject manager at the Institute for Strategic Studies of the Black Sea, drew attention to the possibility of two nuclear warheads being on board the Moscow.

“This may be news to many, but it is a ship that carries nuclear weapons,” he pointed out.

Klymenko draws attention to the need to find the alleged warheads and understand where exactly the explosion took place on the ship.

After losing its main ship, Russia has vowed to step up attacks on the Ukrainian capital Kiev. Russian attacks in the region have been rare since late March, when troops moved out of the capital to concentrate in eastern Ukraine.

“The number and magnitude of missile attacks on sites in Kiev will increase in response to all terrorist-type attacks and sabotage carried out on Russian territory by the nationalist regime in Kiev,” the Russian Defense Ministry said yesterday.

Since then, explosions have been recorded around the city. An anti-aircraft and anti-ship missile workshop and factory was bombed in the Vasilkiv district, southwest of Kiev.

On Saturday, Kiev Mayor Vitaliy Klitschko said at least one person was killed in the latest explosions in the Darnytskyi district. He also talks about injuries, which are still being counted and treated at a hospital in the region.

how was the ship

According to Russian news agencies, the Moskva was armed with 16 cruise missiles. anti-shipknown as P-1000 Vulkanwhich have a range of at least 700 km.

The vessel began operations in 1983. It was used in the Syrian war, in 2015, as naval protection for the air base of Hmeimim of Russian forces, and in other operations military. In addition In addition, it had a series of anti-submarine weapons, rocket launchercannons and torpedoes.

According to British intelligence, the Moskva was one of only three cruisers in the class. Slava in the Navy russian. The British claim that the ship was extensively renovated, seeking to improve her capacity, and that she only returned to status operational in 2021.

According to Russian news agency Ria Novosti, it has been renovated twice and modernized, the last time between 2018 and 2020.

Forbes magazine estimates the ship to be valued at $750 million, based on the value of the refurbishment and another vessel of the same class.

He gained notoriety early in the war when he participated in an attack on Serpents Island, on the Romanian border, in which 19 Ukrainian sailors were captured and exchanged for Russian prisoners.

About Abhishek Pratap

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