Apr 15, 2022 - World

Pentagon says Ukraine sank former Russian flagship

The former Russian missile cruiser Moskva patrolling the Mediterranean Sea in December 2015.
The former Russian missile cruiser Moskva patrolling the Mediterranean Sea in December 2015. Photo: Max Delany/AFP via Getty Image

A senior U.S. defense official told Axios on Friday that Ukraine sank Russia's Moskva cruiser, the former flagship of its Black Sea fleet, with two cruise missiles, validating claims from Ukrainian officials.

Why it matters: The account contradicts Russia's defense ministry claims on Thursday that the ship sunk during bad weather while being towed to a port to repair damages from a fire that detonated ammunition on board.

  • The sinking of the Soviet-era cruiser was a major morale boost for Ukraine, as it was involved in one of the famous early exchanges of the war.
  • Ukrainian border guards defending Snake Island in February told the ship to "go f*ck yourself" in response to a call to surrender.

The big picture: Russia's defense ministry on Friday threatened to increase bombings on Kyiv if Ukraine continued to attack on Russian assets.

  • It is currently unknown how many Russian sailors perished in the attack.

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