There was a fire aboard the Russian Black Sea Fleet’s flagship, Moscow has admitted, with Ukraine claiming it was hit by anti-ship missiles.
Russia’s defense ministry says the Moscow missile cruiser was severely damaged after munitions were detonated in the flames.
“As a result of the fire on the missile cruiser” Moscow “ammunition was detonated,” said in a comment transmitted by TASS.
Image: Moscow says ammunition was detonated aboard the Moscow. File photo
US sends large number of weapons for “significant change” in military policy – live updates in Ukraine
The crew, estimated to number about 500, has been rescued.
The ministry did not comment on what caused the initial fire, saying it was under investigation.
Two Ukrainian sources told Sky News that a 12,500-ton ship was hit by anti-ship missiles fired by the Ukrainian military.
“It’s burning,” said one source. “The level of damage is being clarified… It is about 25 nautical miles from Snake Island.”
Two Neptune rockets were used, Ukrainian media reported.
These allegations have not been independently verified.
Maxim Marchenko, the governor of Odessa, said in the Telegram: “It has been confirmed that today the missile cruiser” Moscow “went exactly where it was sent by our border guards on Snake Island!
“Neptune missiles guarding the Black Sea caused very serious damage to the Russian ship.
“Glory to Ukraine!”
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His comments on Snake Island refer to an incident earlier in the war – the day after the Russian invasion – when Moscow was one of two Russian ships approaching a stretch of land in the Black Sea.
The Russians ordered 13 Ukrainian soldiers defending the island to surrender, but the Ukrainians responded on the radio, telling Moscow and its crew to “leave.”
Ukrainian soldiers were initially thought to have been killed, but the country’s navy later said they had been captured alive by Russia.
Other key developments:
• US officials consider sending Secretary of State Anthony Blinken or Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, in solidarity. • Russia has said it will impose retaliatory sanctions on 398 members of the US House of Representatives and 87 Canadian senators. after the United States targets 328 members of Russia’s lower house • The presidents of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia visit Kyiv to meet with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky • Finland and Sweden appear to be approaching NATO membership • Mr Zelenski said International Criminal Court Prosecutor Karim Khan visited Bucha on Wednesday, where more than 400 bodies were found; Russia has denied that its troops have committed any atrocities
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3:02 Mariupol on the verge of conquest
Ukraine has warned that Russia is stepping up efforts south and east as it approaches control of Mariupol.
Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Wednesday that 1,026 soldiers from Ukraine’s 36th Marine Brigade, including 162 officers, had surrendered in the southern city and that the port was under Russian control.
Ukrainian soldiers trying to defend the strategically important city have been fighting for weeks while running out of food, water and ammunition.
Ukraine’s General Staff confirmed that Russian forces were attacking the port area, but said there was no information about the surrender.