Friday, April 15, 2022

Russia’s Black Sea Flagship Sinks After Ukraine Claims Missile Strike; Loss of Flagship Cruiser Hamstrings Russia’s Naval Threat; Ukraine claims it has blown up bridge in ambush of Russian armored convoy; What’s in $800 M US Security Package for Ukraine? LIVE UPDATES and MORE

Russia’s Black Sea Flagship Sinks After Ukraine Claims Missile Strike:
The flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, the warship Moskva, sank Thursday from damage suffered from a fire onboard following what the Ukrainian military said was a cruise missile attack targeting the vessel.
Russia said the source of the fire was unknown but had set off explosions of ammunition on board. A statement by the Russian Defense Ministry, reported by state agencies, said the ship sank in stormy weather due to structural damage as it was being towed to port.
The loss of the Moskva represents a significant blow to Russia’s military and compromises security for its entire Black Sea Fleet. Russian ships in the Black Sea have been used to fire cruise missiles at Ukrainian cities since the war began on Feb. 24, targeting infrastructure, fuel depots, military bases and civilian administrative buildings.
A Ukrainian military spokesman said earlier in the day the boat had capsized and started to sink as a result of the attack.
The Russian Defense Ministry, in an earlier statement, said the Moskva’s crew, which usually numbers some 500 sailors, was rescued after a fire that led to the explosion.
Konstantin Zatulin, a senior Russian lawmaker, said some sailors had likely died in the attack.
U.S. military officials said there had been a major explosion but couldn’t confirm reports that a Ukrainian missile had damaged the Moskva. The Pentagon believed it was heading to Crimea for repairs.
A spokesman for Ukraine’s Operational Command South said the ship was struck with Ukrainian-developed Neptune missiles, causing ammunition on board to explode. Maksym Marchenko, the governor of Ukraine’s coastal region of Odessa, also said the Moskva was hit by Neptune missiles. This would represent the first known use by Kyiv of the Neptune, an extension of the Soviet-designed KH-35 missile that can strike from truck-based platforms at both land and sea targets within a 200-mile range. Its main prey would be cruisers such as the Moskva, along with destroyers and other warships. --->READ MORE HERE
Alexey Pavlishak/REUTERS
Loss of Flagship Cruiser Moskva Hamstrings Russia’s Naval Threat:
The loss of Russia’s Moskva cruiser, which the Kremlin says was abandoned by its crew in the Black Sea after an explosion, deprives Moscow of a potent weapon that for weeks had been firing cruise missiles at targets in Ukraine.
The Moskva and other ships have played an important role in the Russian war effort with their missile strikes because Russian warplanes have been limited in their operations by Ukraine’s air defenses.
Commissioned in 1982 and over 600 feet long, the Moskva carried S-300 air defense systems and P-1000 supersonic cruise missiles. It was also outfitted with the multiple-rocket launching system Smerch-2.
Russia’s Defense Ministry said Thursday that the warship was seriously damaged and abandoned following a fire that led to the explosion. It said the fire had been put out, explosions of ammunition had been stopped and the vessel was still afloat. --->READ MORE HERE
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