Get all your news in one place
100’s of premium titles. One news app. Zero ads. Just $10 per month.

Ukrainian Missile Strike Sank Russian Warship Moskva, Pentagon Official Says

Topline

The Russian cruiser Moskva sank after it was hit by two Ukrainian Neptune anti-ship missiles Wednesday, a U.S. defense official said Friday, contradicting Russian claims that an accidental explosion was responsible for the loss of the flagship of the Black Sea fleet.

Russian warship Moskva AFP via Getty Images

Key Facts

There are “likely casualties” from the incident, a Pentagon official said U.S. intelligence had assessed at a press briefing, though the Kremlin had said the roughly 500-member crew was evacuated

The demise of the heavily armed warship which had 16 launchers for anti-ship missiles and vertical tubes for 64 air-defense missiles is a significant setback for Russia, the defense official said.

The United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defense said in a tweet overnight Friday that Russia will likely “review its maritime posture in the Black Sea” following the sinking of the warship, which played “a key role as both a command vessel and air defence node.”

Key Background

The Pentagon on Thursday said there was an explosion aboard the warship and it was sinking but couldn’t confirm the cause of the damage. Ukraine and Russia provided dueling statements on what led to the ship’s demise. The governor of Ukraine’s Odessa region said two Ukrainian-made Neptune cruise missiles struck the warship, and the Ukrainian military said the attack caused the ship to sink. Russia’s Ministry of Defense acknowledged Wednesday the ship was damaged but said it was due to a fire that caused an explosion in its ammunition magazine, and said Thursday the warship sank due to “stormy sea” conditions while being towed to port hours after claiming the ship remained afloat. Reports show mild weather in the Black Sea at the time.

Further Reading

Russian Warship Moskva Sinks Off Ukraine, State Media Reports (Forbes)

Russian Warship Mystery: Fire Onboard Moskva Reportedly Out—But Cause Still A Mystery (Forbes)

Related Stories
Pentagon says Russian warship Moskva was sunk by two Ukrainian Neptune missiles
Loss of ship is major blow to Russian prestige seven weeks into war that already is widely seen as historic…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Russian warship Moskva on fire but afloat, Pentagon says
US defence officials say it is unclear what caused blast which Ukraine claims to be result of missile strikes
Russian Black Sea flagship Moskva ‘sinks’ after claims of Ukrainian missile strike
Ukraine earlier claimed it struck the ship with its Neptune missiles.
Moskva: Russian warship involved in Snake Island attack burns ‘after missile strike’
Moskva is the ship which Ukrainian soldiers on Snake Island told “go f**k yourself” at the start of the war
Russia says it will step up missile strikes on Kyiv, claiming Ukrainian attacks on its soil as flagship Moskva vessel sinks
Russia has vowed to step up attacks on Kyiv in response to any Ukrainian attacks on Russian territory.
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Ukrainian claim that missile strike caused explosion on Russian flagship is ‘credible’, says West
Loss of Soviet-era cruiser represents ‘massive blow’ to credibilty of Vladimir Putin’s military