- A missile cruiser in Russia’s Black Sea fleet was severely damaged on Wednesday.
- Ukraine says it hit the ship with missiles, but Russia blamed the damage on ammo blowing up onboard.
- The “Moskva” recently went viral in an audio exchange with Ukrainian border guards.
A Russian missile cruiser considered the flagship of the Kremlin’s fleet in the Black Sea was seriously damaged on Wednesday, with both Russians and Ukrainians claiming responsibility for the damage.
Russia’s Defense Ministry said that ammunition on the warship “Moskva” had detonated due to a fire, and crew had been evacuated, per Russian state-owned news agency RIA Novosti.
But Odesa state regional administrator Maxim Marchenko wrote on his Telegram channel that Ukrainian border guards had struck the vessel with “Neptune” anti-ship missiles, causing “serious damage.” Odesa is a port city on the Black Sea in southern Ukraine.
Both sides’ claims have not been independently verified so far.
The “Moskva” and Russia’s Black Sea fleet drew global attention in February after an apparent audio exchange between the warship and Ukrainian island border guards went viral. When asked by the Russian fleet to surrender, the guards on Zmiinyi, or Snake, Island could be heard saying: “go fuck yourselves.”
The cruiser is the second Russian vessel to have sustained major damage since the beginning of the invasion, Reuters reported.
On March 24, Ukraine’s navy said it had damaged a large paratroop ship called the “Orsk” in the Black Sea fleet.