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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russian Defense Ministry: Damaged Moskva Cruiser Sunk After Entering Stormy Waters

Sputnik News


The Russian Ministry of Defense announced on Thursday that the missile cruiser Moskva had sunk in the Black Sea.

"During the towing of the Moskva cruiser to the port of destination, the ship lost its balance due to damage to the hull received during the fire following the detonation of ammunition. The ship sank in a stormy sea," the ministry said in a statement.

The Defense Ministry said on Wednesday that Moskva had been hit by heavy fire, which partially detonated its ammunition stores. The crew was evacuated successfully and the fire was contained by late Wednesday, averting the risk of further ammunition detonation. Ukraine has claimed that Moskva was hit by two R-360 Neptune anti-ship missiles.

After containing the fire, the Moskva was being towed back to Sevastopol for repairs.

The Slava-class guide-missile cruiser Moskva was built in 1979, not far from where it sank: in the 61 Communards shipyard in Nikolaev, then part of the Soviet Union. She was named Slava (glory) and was the lead ship of the Slava class, also known as Project 1164 Atlant. She was renamed Moskva (Moscow) in 2000, when she was also named flagship of Russia's Black Sea Fleet.

Slava/Moskva played a prominent role in regional events, including holding the Soviet delegation in 1989 during talks in Malta between Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev and US President George HW Bush.

The warship supported the 2008 intervention into Georgia in defense of Abkhazian independence and engaged in combat with Georgian Navy warships before being posted in the Abkhazian capital of Sukhumi. During the events of March 2014, when Crimea seceded from Ukraine and voted to join the Russian Federation, Moskva blockaded the Ukrainian fleet in Lake Donuzlav. In 2015, Moskva was sent to the Eastern Mediterranean to play an air defense role in support of Russian operations in Syria.

The Russian special military operation in Ukraine was ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin on February 24 following requests by the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics (DPR and LPR) to protect them against escalating attacks by Ukraine. Putin argued that the Donbass republics were subjected to "genocide" by Kiev and that Moscow was left with no other choice but to defend them after the Ukrainian authorities had failed to implement the Minsk agreement for resolving the conflict.

© Sputnik

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