“All the information is provided by the Ministry of Defence. We do not have the prerogative to communicate”, declared the spokesperson for the presidency, while neither the navy nor the ministry drew up a report on the situation. sinking of the boat on board which were hundreds of crew members.
The Kremlin on Tuesday declined to comment on testimonies of sailors missing since the sinking of the cruiser Moskva, Russia’s Black Sea flagship that kyiv says sank last week. “All information is provided by the Ministry of Defense. We do not have the prerogative to communicate,” said the spokesman for the presidency, Dmitry Peskov, while neither the navy nor the ministry drew up assessment of the sinking of the boat on board which were hundreds of crew members. In recent days, several testimonies published by Russian-language media and on social networks have reported missing sailors, some performing their military service.
Testimonies claim the truth
A man living in Crimea, Dmitry Chkrebrets, posing as the father of a missing person, published a message on the social network Vkontakte on Sunday evening asking why his son, a conscript, was in a combat zone. A woman, Yulia Tsyvova, also told several media that her son was missing.
Up to 680 men in the crew
Officially, the Russian fleet claims that the crew of the Moskva was evacuated from the cruiser and did not report any dead, injured or missing. According to Moscow, this flagship, which played a key role in the coordination of Russian ships in the Black Sea, sank following a fire caused by the explosion of ammunition. Ukraine claims to have sunk it with missiles. On Saturday, the Russian Ministry of Defense released a video presented as showing a meeting between the head of the navy and dozens of survivors of the cruiser, whose crew could officially count up to 680 men.
Officially, 1,351 dead on the Russian side
The sinking of the Moskva is widely seen as a humiliation for Russia and its fleet, and even pro-Kremlin commentators have demanded an explanation from the authorities, without success so far.
Russia recognized on March 25 1,351 dead in its ranks in a month of fighting in Ukraine, an unverifiable report from an independent source and which has not been updated since. Also in March, the Kremlin had indicated that conscripts had mistakenly taken part in the offensive in Ukraine, then had been withdrawn from the theater of operations.