USA Updates A look at Moscow, Russian flagship sunk by Ukrainian missile
Ukraine’s missiles caused the explosion, which eventually sank Russian Black Sea chief Moskova, a senior US defense official confirmed Friday.
The guided missile cruiser – the largest craft ever deployed against Ukraine – was hit on Thursday by at least one Neptune anti-ship missile fired by Ukrainian forces, the official said.
Confirmation punched a hole through the Kremlin’s insistence that the capital ship had been damaged after an ammunition fire.
The loss of the Black Sea flagship is the latest embarrassment for the alleged superpower’s armed forces during the invasion of Ukraine, and it removes a major military asset from Russia’s arsenal.
What is Moscow?
One of Russia’s Slavic-class cruisers, the Moskva was 600 feet long and manned by about 500 sailors.
According to the Pentagon, the ship’s primary mission was air defense, although the Moskva was also equipped with anti-ship missiles and had the ability to carry 16 long-range cruise missiles, such as those that battered Ukrainian targets for weeks.
Built in the 1970s, the Moscow was a Soviet-era ship designed to do battle with the NATO fleet. It was built in then-Soviet Ukraine, and was named Slavic, the first of its class. In 1995 the name of the ship was changed to Moskva. The ship underwent at least two modernizations and repairs during its service.
Were there nuclear weapons on board?
Rumors swirled on Friday that the 12,500-ton ship could be nuclear-armed, but those claims could not be independently verified. US intelligence officials suspected that the ship was carrying nuclear weapons when it sank, CNN told,
How will this affect the war?
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Thursday that before the ship was discovered to be sinking, it was difficult to predict the effect the ship’s neutralization would have on Moscow’s war effort.
“A dozen to two dozen ships have operated in the Black Sea and the Azov Sea, and have happened anywhere since the start of this offensive,” he said. “It’s going to be hard to be able to tell you, this one ship out of commission, what the impact is going to be.”
“That said, it’s a cruiser, they only have three in this class,” he said.
Nevertheless, Kirby cautioned that the sinking of Moscow would not hinder the Russian Navy’s ability to bomb Ukraine from the sea.
Asked to comment on reports that Russia’s other warships had pulled back from the Ukrainian coast in an apparent attempt to evade the costal defence, a Pentagon spokesman said much of Ukraine was still under Russia’s sea-based cruise. within range of missiles.
Moscow has said that the Moscow crew had been evacuated before the ship sank.
post with wires