The flagship of the Black Sea Fleet, the cruiser Moskva, went down, the Russian Defense Ministry acknowledged.
"During the towing operation of the Moskva cruiser to the port of destination over damage to the hull sustained in a fire from the detonation of ammunition, the ship lost stability. In the conditions of the storm wave, the ship went down," the ministry reported.
According to the official version, the cruiser crew was evacuated to the ships of the Black Sea Fleet located in the area.
The cruiser Moskva in the port of Sevastopol on April 7, 2022
The cruiser Moskva in the sea near Odesa on April 12, 2022
The warship was "a symbol of Russian naval power in the Black Sea," Michael Petersen of the Russia Maritime Studies Institute said. Moskva has been a thorn in the side of the Ukrainians from the very beginning of this conflict," the expert explained. "Its destruction will be "a real boost to the morale for the Ukrainians."
Some Russian Telegram channels reported early in the morning on April 15 that the Russian Armed Forces delivered a number of strikes on targets in Ukraine during the night. Allegedly, missiles were fired at Kyiv and the region, Kharkiv, Kherson, and an oil depot near Ivano-Frankivsk.
Ukrainian official sources have not yet confirmed this information.
Context. On the night of April 14, the Armed Forces of Ukraine hit the Moskva cruiser with two missiles from the Neptune coastal missile system.
At the time of the strike, the cruiser was at sea about 120 km south of Odesa.
In the morning, Russia reported a fire on board, an explosion of ammunition and the evacuation of the crew. Throughout the day, official sources in the Russian Federation have repeatedly stated that the cruiser has retained its buoyancy and is heading for Sevastopol virtually under its own power.