Blow for Russian military as Black Sea flagship sinks

The flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet has sunk after it was closely broken within the newest setback for Moscow’s invasion. Ukrainian officers mentioned their forces hit the vessel with missiles, whereas Russia acknowledged a fireplace aboard the Moskva however no assault.

US and different Western officers couldn’t affirm what precipitated the blaze. The lack of the warship, named after the Russian capital, is a devastating symbolic defeat for Moscow as its troops regroup for a renewed offensive in jap Ukraine after retreating from a lot of the north, together with the capital.

The Russian Defence Ministry mentioned the ship sank in a storm whereas being towed to a port. Russia earlier mentioned the flames on the ship, which might usually have 500 sailors on board, pressured the complete crew to evacuate.

It later mentioned the blaze had been contained and that the ship could be towed to port with its missile launchers intact. The ship can carry 16 long-range cruise missiles, and its removing from fight reduces Russia’s firepower within the Black Sea.

Additionally it is a blow to Russian status in a conflict already extensively seen as a historic blunder. Now coming into its eighth week, Russia’s invasion has stalled due to resistance from Ukrainian fighters bolstered by weapons and different assist despatched by Western nations.

The information of the flagship’s harm overshadowed Russian claims of advances within the southern port metropolis of Mariupol, the place they’ve been battling the Ukrainians for the reason that early days of the invasion in among the heaviest preventing of the conflict. Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Maj Gen Igor Konashenkov mentioned that 1,026 Ukrainian troops surrendered at a metals manufacturing unit within the metropolis.

However Vadym Denysenko, adviser to Ukraine’s inside minister, rejected the declare, telling Present Time TV that “the battle over the seaport is still ongoing today”. It was unclear what number of forces have been nonetheless defending Mariupol.

Russian state tv broadcast footage that it mentioned was from Mariupol displaying dozens of males in camouflage strolling with their palms up and carrying others on stretchers. One man held a white flag.

Mariupol’s seize is crucial for Russia as a result of it might permit its forces within the south, which got here up via the annexed Crimean Peninsula, to completely hyperlink up with troops within the jap Donbas area, Ukraine’s industrial heartland and the goal of the approaching offensive. The Russian navy continues to maneuver helicopters and different tools collectively for such a effort, in response to a senior US defence official, and it’ll doubtless add extra floor fight items “over coming days”.

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