According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the missile cruiser Moskva, the flagship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, has sunk.
It didn’t happen when it was towed back to port after an explosion and fire in stormy weather, Russian news agencies reported on Thursday.
The Defense Ministry earlier on Thursday said the Soviet-era ship was badly damaged by the fire, which Ukraine said was a result of its missile attack.
The warship was 60 to 65 nautical miles south of Odessa when the fire ignited after being struck by Ukrainian forces, and the ship was still fighting flames hours later while heading east.
The loss of the ship is a major military setback and a devastating symbolic defeat for Moscow as its troops regroup for a renewed offensive in eastern Ukraine after withdrawing from much of the north, including the capital.
Russia said the fire on board the ship, which would normally have 500 sailors on board, forced the entire crew to evacuate.
It was later said the fire had been contained and the ship was being towed to port with the guided missile launchers intact.
The ship could carry 16 long-range cruise missiles, and its removal from combat significantly reduces Russia’s firepower in the Black Sea.
https://www.independent.ie/news/russia-admits-its-black-sea-missile-cruiser-flagship-moskva-has-sunk-41555309.html Russia admits its Black Sea missile cruiser Moskva sank