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Russia confirmed Wednesday that the flagship of its Black Sea fleet had been evacuated after it was “seriously damaged,” claiming that a fire on board caused an explosion, Russian media said.
The vessel was evacuated, Reuters reported.
Maksym Marchenko, governor of the Odesa region in Ukraine’s south, said, “Neptune missiles guarding the Black Sea caused very serious damage” to the Russian Moskva missile cruiser.
The Russian Navy’s guided missile cruiser Moskva sails in the Bosphorus, on its way to the Mediterranean Sea, in Istanbul, Turkey June 18, 2021. Picture taken June 18, 2021.
Unconfirmed reports on social media early Thursday said the ship had sunk while Russia maintained it was still afloat.
Last month, Ukraine said it destroyed another key Russian ship on the Sea of Azov, the Orsk, a landing support ship.
The Russian missile cruiser Moskva, the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet is seen anchored in the Black Sea port of Sevastopol, on Sept. 11, 2008.
(AP Photo, File)
Russia’s naval ships have been strategically placed in the Black Sea to support the military’s effort to take control of south Ukrainian port cities like Mariupol, according to Reuters.
Ukraine says tens of thousands of people have died in Mariupol and the government has accused Russia of war crimes there and in other cities for allegedly targeting civilians.