At approximately 1400 EST, Ukrainian Telegram accounts began reporting that two Neptune Anti-Ship Missiles struck the Russian Cruiser Moskva in the Black Sea. Over the course of the next three hours, several Ukrainian politicians including the Minister of Internal Affairs, the Presidential Adviser, and the Governor of Odesa added to the rumors that the Moskva had been struck.
However, 10 minutes ago, Russian state media, RIA Novosti and TASS reported that the Moskva had been completely evacuated due to the detonation of the primary ammunition stores on board the 480-man warship. It is not clear at this time if the ship was to sea or in port, but detonation of the ammunition stores is a mortal wound to most warships. It is also not clear how the crew was evacuated. This story will be updated upon confirmation of the status of the Moskva. Even if she is not sunk, this will serve as a major blow to the Black Sea Fleet, after three of their Ropucha Class LSTs have already been damaged during the fighting.
Moskva is a guided missile cruiser of the Russian Navy. It is the lead ship of the Project 1164 Atlant class and is named after the city of Moscow. It was laid down in 1976 and launched in 1979 as the Slava in the Soviet Navy. In 2000, she was recommissioned as the Moskva in the Russian Federation Navy. Here are the basic characteristics:
|Length||186.4 m (611.5 ft)|
|Beam||20.8 m (68.2 ft)|
|Draught||8.4 m (27.6 ft)|
|Propulsion||4 COGOG gas turbines, 2 shafts 121,000 shp (90,000 kW)|
|Speed||32 knots (59 km/h; 37 mph)|
As well as her armament, which has stood as a formidable surface combatant in the Black Sea which severely limits the tonnage of NATO vessels:
|Aircraft carried||1 Ka-25 or Ka-27 helicopter|