Russian warship’s last moment after it was sunk by Ukraine emerges
Following some days after the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea fleet Moskva was Sunk by Ukrainian forces in a major blow to the Russian invasion, new pictures of the final days of the cruiser have emerged online.
While the pictures are not yet verified, they show the extent of fire on the Russian warship that became a potent target of Ukrainian defiance in the opening days of the war.
While Ukrainian officials said their forces had hit the vessel with missiles, Russia acknowledged a fire aboard the Moskva but no attack. The US and other Western officials could not confirm what caused the blaze.
Named for the Russian capital, Moskva’s loss is a devastating symbolic defeat for Moscow as its troops regroup for a renewed offensive.
Following the sinking of the vessel, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told Ukrainians they should be proud of having survived 50 days under attack when the Russians “gave us a maximum of five.”
Launched during the Cold War, Moskva served during conflicts in n Georgia, Syria, and Ukraine pushing the Russian military forward. Equipped to carry 16 long-range cruise missiles, the warship was 611.5 feet (186 meters) long and housed a crew of 476 with an additional 62 officers.
The warship was launched as the Slava from a shipyard in Mykolaiv in what was then the Soviet republic of Ukraine in July 1979, according to open-source intelligence firm Janes. The Slava served as the flagship of the Soviet fleet in the Black Sea. It carried both surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles, deck guns, torpedoes, and mortars. It also had a helicopter deck.
The Slava underwent repairs from 1990-1999. During that time, the Soviet Union collapsed, an independent Ukraine emerged and Russia’s economy foundered. Finally overhauled and rechristened as the Moskva. During Russia’s war in its former republic of Georgia in 2008, the Moskva took part in operations in the Black Sea, and Georgia said it was involved in an attack on the country.
In 2014, as Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula, the Moskva blocked Ukrainian naval vessels from leaving Lake Donuzlav. In 2015-16, it was deployed to the Mediterranean Sea to provide support for the Russian military campaign backing Syrian President Bashar Assad.