This past Wednesday, there has been severe damage done to the flagship of Russia’s naval fleet in the Black Sea due to a fire on board that come just a scant few hours after Ukraine claimed to have hit the ship with a salvo of missile strikes.
Russia has come forward to state that the ammunition from the ship exploded due to a fire while Ukraine stated that it had managed to launch a successful strike against the ship utilizing a pair of shore-based anti-ship missiles.
“The 12,500 tonne ship has a crew of around 500,” stated Reuters in a report. “Russian news agencies said the Moskva was armed with 16 anti-ship ‘Vulkan’ cruise missiles, which have a range of at least 700 km (440 miles).”
“As the result of a fire on the Moskva missile cruiser, ammunition detonated. The ship was seriously damaged,” claimed the Defense Ministry of Russia in a release. “The crew was completely evacuated.”
Maksym Marchenko, the governor of Odesa, stated via a Telegram message this past Tuesday, that the ship had been struck by missiles from Ukraine.
“It has been confirmed that the missile cruiser Moskva today went exactly where it was sent by our border guards on Snake Island!” stated Marchenko. “Neptune missiles guarding the Black Sea caused very serious damage to the Russian ship.”
As stated by USNI News:
[Ukraine’s] Neptunes, first fielded in 2021, are based on the Soviet AS-20 ‘Kayak’anti-ship missile which is similar to the U.S.-built Harpoon missile.
Moskva was commissioned into the Soviet Navy in 1982 and is one of three Slava-class guided-missile cruisers.
The three 11,500-ton Slavas were designed around launchers that can hold 16 SS-N-12 Sandbox anti-ship cruise missiles – each about the size of a telephone pole. Developed in the 1970s, the Slavas and the Sandboxes were designed to take on U.S. and NATO aircraft carriers by overwhelming them with a barrage of high-speed cruise missiles to sink ships.
Additionally, another Russian ship was officially sunk by Ukrainian defense forces back in late March in the southern port city of Berdyansk.
In another separate report, USNI stated:
A senior U.S. defense official confirmed to reporters on Friday that Ukrainian forces had struck and destroyed the Alligator-class LST while it was pierside. …
It is unclear whether the attack involved a ballistic missile or a drone. The U.S. defense official would not say what Ukraine used to attack the ship, citing operational security for Ukrainian forces. The Alligator-class ship was performing a resupply mission, the official said, as fighting continues in the port city of Mariupol on the Sea of Azov.