The flagship of the Russian navy in the Black Sea, the cruiser Moscow, is seen in a satellite image off the coast of Crimea on April 10. (Satellite image © 2022 Maxar Technologies)
One of the most important warships of the Russian Navy either sails abandoned or on the bottom of the Black Sea, a huge blow to the military fighting against Ukrainian resistance 50 days after Vladimir Putin’s invasion of his neighbor.
Russian sailors evacuated the missile cruiser Moscow, the flagship of its Black Sea Fleet, after a fire that blew up ammunition on board, Russian state media reported on Wednesday.
The state media TASS and RIA, citing the Russian Ministry of Defense, reported that “Moscow” was seriously damaged in the incident and that the cause of the fire is being investigated. Russian reports do not provide information on possible victims.
But hours earlier, a Ukrainian official said a Russian warship had been hit by cruise missiles fired from Ukraine.
Due to major storms over the Black Sea, obscuring satellite imagery and satellite data, CNN was unable to visually confirm that the ship was hit or its current condition, but analysts noted that a fire aboard such a ship could lead to an explosion crash. which can sink him.
Whatever the cause of the fire, analysts say it has hit the heart of the Russian navy hard, as well as national pride, comparable to the loss of the U.S. Navy during World War II or an aircraft carrier today.
“Only the loss of a ballistic missile submarine or Kutnetsov (the Russian aircraft carrier itself) would deal a greater blow to Russian morale and the navy’s reputation among the Russian public,” said Carl Schuster, a retired U.S. Navy captain and former director. operations at the Joint Intelligence Center of the US Pacific Command.
“Massive strike”: Alessio Patalano, professor of war and strategy at King’s College London, said the loss of the warship would be a “mass strike” for Russia.
“Ships operate far from the public eye and their activities are rarely the subject of news. But they are large floating pieces of national territory, and when you lose one, no less a flagship, the political and symbolic message – in addition to the military loss – stands out because of that, “he said.
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