The flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, the missile cruiser Moskva, was seriously damaged and abandoned by its crew after its ammunition blew up, Russia’s Defense Ministry said, after Ukrainian officials said they hit the warship with cruise missiles.
Moskva’s entire crew, which usually numbers some 500 sailors, was rescued after a fire that led to the explosion, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement carried by state news agencies. It didn’t say what caused the fire.
Maksym Marchenko, the governor of Ukraine’s coastal region of Odessa, said on social media that the Moskva was hit by Neptune missiles, which Ukraine developed and said earlier this year would be deployed by April. There was no independent confirmation of the strike.