Watch: First video of sinking Russian warship Moskva appears online


The Moskva had a crew of about 500 sailors.

The first images of the sinking of the Russian missile cruiser Moskva, the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet, have surfaced online. Ukraine had said Moskva’s fate had been sealed by a rocket attack launched by its troops from the coast last week that ripped open the hulking Soviet-era hull, while Russia claimed it was a fire and explosions that left ammunition stored on board The ship was doomed to failure.

The Moskva had a crew of about 500 sailors, who Russia said had been successfully evacuated to other ships before being returned to their home port of Sevastopol in Crimea on Friday. Ukraine has suggested that there may have been deaths.

NDTV cannot independently verify the authenticity of the video.

The British Ministry of Defense has said the loss of the Moskva is likely to prompt Russia to reconsider its naval position in the Black Sea. US officials, who wished to remain anonymous, told Reuters news agency that while the sinking would have a symbolic impact and potentially raise questions about Russia’s longer-term naval capabilities, it is unlikely to have a major impact on the course of the war. conflict. The Russian navy has not played a major role so far.

A US official said Russia had only used its warships to a limited extent to carry out occasional attacks and resupply troops in the south. Russia maintains maritime dominance in the immediate region and the Moskva was equipped to destroy enemy ships at sea, but little of the Ukrainian navy remains.

Some analysts say the Moskva may have helped support a possible Russian amphibious landing in the Ukrainian port city of Odessa, which has not yet happened due to resistance from Ukrainian forces. Its sinking could be seen in some areas of Ukraine as reducing the likelihood of such an attack and allowing Ukraine to deploy some of its forces elsewhere.

Russia has two other ships of the same class, the Marshal Ustinov and the Varyag, serving Russia’s Northern and Pacific fleets respectively. Turkey, which controls the entrance to the Black Sea through the Bosphorus, will not let them in in times of war.

Designed in the 1970s Soviet Union during the Cold War, it was designed to destroy American aircraft carriers and had been in service for nearly four decades. It underwent an extensive refit and, according to the UK Ministry of Defense, did not return to operational status until 2021. Despite that refit, some of the hardware remained obsolete.

The sinking of the Moskva is a bitter loss to the Russian army, as the ship, while obsolete, was a symbol of the Crimean-based Black Sea Fleet and of Russian military pride. If it were pierced by Ukrainian anti-ship missiles, it would be the largest Russian warship lost since 1941, when German dive bombers crippled the Soviet battleship Marat in Kronshtadt harbour.

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