A Russian warship reportedly caught fire and exploded while guarding the Ukrainian coast on the Black Sea.
American Military News reports:
Russia’s Moskva flagship missile cruiser incurred heavy damage from an explosion and a “fire” on board late Wednesday and Ukrainian officials are saying they fired missiles at the Russian cruiser.
Odesa Regional Military Administration head Maksym Marchenko said on Telegram that Moskva was hit. “Neptune missiles guarding the Black Sea caused very serious damage to the Russian ship,” he said, according to a translation. Neptune missiles are anti-ship cruise missiles produced in Ukraine.
An unconfirmed video circulating social media claims to show a ship burning in the Black Sea. It’s unclear if the video actually shows the Mosvka as the footage could not be authenticated at this time.
The Russian defense ministry described the incident as a “fire” that broke out and exploded munitions on board, though it didn’t describe the source of the fire. The ship was evacuated and the incident is being investigated.“A fire onboard the Mosvka missile cruiser caused a blast of the broadside munitions. The ship received serious damage. The crew was evacuated,” the ministry statement said, as reported by Russian state-run news agency TASS.
Moskva is the flagship vessel of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet. It has been in service since 1983 and carries Vulkan missile launchers.
Western media continues to report on Russia’s failures in its bloody invasion of Ukraine. There are mixed reports on the Russian ship’s demise. Between the US, Russia and Ukraine, it is impossible to know who is reporting the truth.
The Pentagon, Russia and Ukraine all provided divergent explanations for the fate of the Moskva – named after the Russian capital – after an explosion and fire aboard the vessel Wednesday. Odesa Gov. Maksym Marchenko said on Telegram that Ukrainian forces struck the guided-missile cruiser Moskva with two missiles. Oleksiy Arestovych, an adviser to Ukraine’s president, later said the ship sank, calling it an event of “colossal significance.”
The ministry also said the fire had been contained and that the ship would be towed to port with its guided missile launchers intact.
U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan said it mattered little for Russia whether the ship was hit by a missile or victimized by an unrelated fire.
“They’ve had to kind of choose choose between two stories: One story is that it was just incompetence, and the other was that they came under attack,” Sullivan said. “Neither is a particular the good outcome for them.”
We really don’t know what happened or how it happened. We do know a Russian ship is burning in the Black Sea. That’s about it.