The Russian Ministry of Defense announced Thursday evening that the cruiser Moskva, flagship of the Russian fleet in the Black Sea, damaged during the offensive against Ukraine, had sunk. Ukraine claimed to have attacked the building, which it said had been hit by missiles.
The cruiser Moskva, flagship of the Russian fleet in the Black Sea, damaged during the offensive against Ukraine, has sunk, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced Thursday evening. “During the towing of the cruiser Moskva to the port of destination, the ship lost its stability due to hull damage sustained in the fire from the detonation of ammunition. In rough sea conditions, the ship sank “, said the ministry, quoted by the Russian agencies.
Ukraine claimed to be behind the attack
The Russian ministry had indicated earlier in the day that the fire on board was “limited”, and that the cruiser “kept its buoyancy”, while claiming to investigate the causes of the disaster. No balance sheet was provided. Authorities also said that the towing of the vessel was in progress and that the crew of several hundred people had been evacuated to other ships of the Russian fleet in the Black Sea.
Ukraine, for its part, claimed to have attacked the building, which it said had been hit by missiles. During the night of Wednesday to Thursday, the Russian ministry had recognized significant damage to the ship.
A ship with Soviet origins
Commissioned in 1983 during Soviet times as Slava (Glory), this Atlant-class missile cruiser was designed as an aircraft carrier destroyer. This 186-meter building, renamed Moskva (Moscow) in May 1995, was armed with 16 Bazalt/Voulkan anti-ship missiles, Fort missiles, the navy version of the long-range S-300 missiles, and short-range Ossa missiles. It also had rocket launchers, cannons and torpedoes.
According to the Ria Novosti agency, it has undergone two major refurbishments and modernizations, the last being very recent, dating back to 2018-2020. Its crew could number up to 680 men, according to the Ministry of Defense.