The sinking of one of Russia’s formidable warships, the Moskva, is a devastating blow to the country — whether the ship sank after an accidental fire, as the Russian Defense Ministry insists, or after being hit by missiles, as Ukraine has claimed.
According to Russian news agencies, with a length of more than 600 feet and a weight of 12,500 tons, it was one of the largest ships of the Russian Navy and the flagship of its Black Sea fleet.
This body of water, whose coasts are shared with many other countries, including Ukraine, Georgia and Turkey, has It was of strategic importance to Russia for several centuries.
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, Moscow — armed with 16 Vulcan missile launchers with a strike range of more than 400 miles, according to Russian state media — and the rest of the Black Sea Fleet has fired several times. Ships also cut off Ukraine’s access to the sea and the economic lifeline it provides.
Although military analysts said that the loss of Moskva was unlikely to change the course of the war, it was an embarrassment to the Russian military, which spent billions of dollars to modernize its weapons.
Gary Rogged, a retired admiral and former US chief of naval operations, said the ship has the potential to cause “significant damage” in the Black Sea. He added that with the demise of Moskva, Russia likely lost a key communications and controls platform.
Forbes Ukraine estimated the loss of Moskva It costs Russia 750 million dollars And to be the most expensive military loss for Russia in the war so far.
The ship was also a symbol of national pride. It was called “Glory” when it was first put into service for the Soviet Navy in the early 1980s. It was renamed after the Russian capital in 1996, according to Russian state media.
“Imagine the aircraft carrier USS George Washington as it heads to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean,” James Stavridis, a retired US Navy admiral and former commander in chief in NATO, said of the ship’s symbolism.
“It is a huge blow to their prestige to lose something like this,” said Admiral Rugged, “and it calls into question the fleet’s readiness.”
Ukrainian officials said that the Moskva is the same ship, which was famous for bluntly said by Ukrainian border guards on Snake Island in February.
The Russian Defense Ministry said all crew members aboard the Moskva — which usually number around 500 — have been evacuated. The ship will now join an unknown number of other ships, Some of them are more than a thousand years oldOn the bottom of the Black Sea.
James Glanz Contribute to the preparation of reports.