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Go f*** yourself’ Russian warship is BLOWN UP: Cruiser Moskva is hit by Ukrainian missile

Russia’s Black Sea flagship has been badly damaged and may have sunk after Ukraine claimed to have shot it with cruise missiles, in what would be another humiliating loss for Vladimir Putin’s armed forces.

The Moskva, a Soviet-era Slava class guided missile cruiser, was struck by two Neptune cruise missiles launched from a coastal battery off the coast of Odesa on Wednesday evening, according to the Ukrainian government.

Moscow has acknowledged a fire on board the vessel with state media saying its 510-strong crew were evacuated when the ammunition exploded and left the vessel ‘badly damaged’ – though it refused to say what caused the blaze, saying only that the incident is being ‘investigated.’

But a Telegram channel with links to the Russian military claimed the ship was hit by missiles after Ukraine used Bayraktar drones to distract its radar warning systems. Sources claimed the ship was struck twice on the port side, rolled over, and has since sunk.

Meanwhile Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to the Ukrainian ministry of defence, claimed that hundreds of sailors may have died in the explosion. Ilya Ponomarev, an anti-Putin Russian politician, agreed with that assessment – saying that only 50 of the crew have so-far been confirmed as rescued.

If confirmed, the loss of the Moskva would mark the single-largest casualty inflicted by Ukraine on the Russian military during the war so-far and one of the largest ships lost in combat since the end of the Second World War.

Destroying the Moskva is all the more symbolic because it was the warship that had demanded the surrender of 13 Ukrainian troops on Snake Island in the early days of the war – receiving the now-iconic response: ‘Russian warship, go f*** yourself.’  

The flagship of Russia’s Black Sea fleet – the Soviet-era guided missile destroyer Moskva – has suffered heavy damage and may have sunk after Ukraine claimed to have shot it with two anti-ship cruise missiles 

Russian Telegram accounts with links to the Wagner Group claim Bayraktar drones were used to distract the Moskva's radar systems before a coastal battery opened fire somewhere near Odesa, hitting the ship with two Neptune missiles

Russian Telegram accounts with links to the Wagner Group claim Bayraktar drones were used to distract the Moskva’s radar systems before a coastal battery opened fire somewhere near Odesa, hitting the ship with two Neptune missiles

April 10: The Moskva (pictured last week near the port of Sevastopol) has been helping coordinate Russian naval operation in the Black Sea, which has seen ships set up a distant blockade of Ukrainian ports and open fire on cities with cruise missiles

April 10: The Moskva (pictured last week near the port of Sevastopol) has been helping coordinate Russian naval operation in the Black Sea, which has seen ships set up a distant blockade of Ukrainian ports and open fire on cities with cruise missiles

April 7: The Moskva is pictured in Sevastopol, occupied Crimea, which is the home port of Russia's Black Sea fleet. The Soviet-era ship leads the fleet, and is equipped with anti-ship, anti-air and anti-submarine missiles

April 7: The Moskva is pictured in Sevastopol, occupied Crimea, which is the home port of Russia’s Black Sea fleet. The Soviet-era ship leads the fleet, and is equipped with anti-ship, anti-air and anti-submarine missiles

The soviet-era 600-foot missile cruiser: Moskva

The Moskva is a 12,500 tonne Project 1164 Slava class guided missile cruiser that was first launched in 1979. 

She replaced the Kynda-class cruiser Admiral Golovko as the flagship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet. 

Although it is not a new ship, the impressive cruiser was named after Moscow and is armed with 16 fixed launchers for P-1000 anti-ship missiles and rail launchers for 40 Osa missiles.

The missile cruiser usually has a crew of over 500 and contains intricate vertical tubes for 64 S-300 air-defence missiles and an array of guns, making her fire power one of a kind.  

Despite Moskva’s impressive features, the ship was badly damaged when ammunition on board blew up, Interfax news agency quoted the defence ministry as saying on Thursday. 

Interfax said all the crew had been evacuated. It cited the ministry as blaming the blast on a fire and said the cause was being investigated.

A Ukrainian official earlier said the Moskva had been hit by two anti-ship missiles but did not give any evidence.  

Russian news agencies said the Moskva was armed with 16 anti-ship ‘Vulkan’ cruise missiles with a range of at least 440 miles. Interfax did not give more details of the incident. 

In April 2021, the agency quoted a retired Russian admiral as saying ‘this is the most serious ship in the Black Sea’. 

Neither Ukraine or Russia has given an official account of what happened to the Moskva – though sources speaking to Telegram channel Reverse Side of the Medal, which has links to the Russian Wager military group, have given a detailed account.

According to those sources, the Moskva was sailing in the Black Sea between the Ukrainian port cities of Odesa and Mykolaiv when it was targeted on Wednesday evening.

Ukraine reportedly used Turkish-made Bayraktar drones to distract the ship’s missile defences, allowing two Neptune missiles fired from a coastal battery to sneak through.

They struck the ship on the port side, the sources claimed, causing it to partially roll over. Choppy conditions at sea combined with the roll meant the ship began taking on water.

Due to fears that the ship’s ammunition could detonate, the Moskva was evacuated and has now sunk, the sources added.

Ponomarev, writing on his own Telegram account today, gave credence to that account. He wrote: ‘The flagship of the Black Sea Fleet, the missile cruiser Moskva, was launched to the bottom by two Ukrainian-made Neptune missiles.

‘The ammunition detonated on it, and at about 2:00am local time, it fell on its left side and sank. 

‘At the moment, it is reliably known about the rescue of 50 people out of 510 crew members.

‘For comparison, 107 people died during the Kursk submarine disaster [in the year 2000].

‘Now Putin has on him Tsushima [a devastating naval battle between Japan and Russia in 1905] in the as well as Srebrenica – all during one month. How skillful indeed.’

Ukraine has not confirmed this account, though has claimed to have carried out a successful strike on the Moskva. 

It is thought the Neptune battery opened fire from somewhere around Odesa, which is Ukraine’s main naval base and port city where anti-ship batteries have previously been recorded firing.

Neptune missiles have a maximum range of 170 miles, putting the area of ocean around Snake Island – where the Moskva has been spending much of its time – well within striking distance. 

Odesa governor Maksym Marchenko wrote on Telegram yesterday: ‘Neptune missiles guarding the Black Sea caused very serious damage to the Russian ship. Glory to Ukraine!’

Ukrainian presidential advisor Oleksiy Arestovych said that ‘a surprise happened with the flagship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet’, the Moskva – a 600-foot, 12,500 tonne Project 1164 Slava class guided missile cruiser that was first launched in 1979.

‘It burns strongly. Right now. And with this stormy sea it is unknown whether they will be able to receive help. There are 510 crew members,’ he said in a YouTube broadcast. ‘We don’t understand what happened.’

As news came in of the explosion, weather conditions in the Black Sea were reported to be poor, raising questions over whether the warship could stay afloat if it was severely damaged in the explosion and evacuated.

It also came days after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson met with Ukraine’s Presidnet Voldymyr Zelensky in Kyiv, and vowed to send Ukraine 120 armoured vehicles and new anti-ship missile systems to help with the battle against Russia.

Russian news agencies said the Moskva was armed with 16 anti-ship ‘Vulkan’ cruise missiles with a range of at least 440 miles. Interfax did not give more details of the incident.

In April 2021, the agency quoted a retired Russian admiral as saying ‘this is the most serious ship in the Black Sea’.

The Moskva was also deployed during Russia’s war in Syria as a deterrent against aircraft from rival nations intervening in the conflict. It was deployed after a Turkish jet shot down a Russian fighter accused of violating its airspace close to the Syrian border in November 2015.

The Mosvka (Moscow) gained notoriety early in Moscow’s war when Ukrainian border troops defending the strategic ‘Snake Island’ were heard in a viral audio recording telling the warship to ‘go f**k yourself’ after its crew called on them to surrender.

The 13 defenders of the island were taken into custody by Russian forces, and later released. Roman Gribov, who made the now-famous comment, received a medal.

Last month Ukraine said it had destroyed a large Russian landing support ship, the Orsk, on the smaller Sea of Azov to the northeast of the Black Sea. 

Moscow has not commented on what had happened to the ship, but satellite imagery showed a large vessel destroyed and partially sunk in Berdyansk. 

Ukraine claims the Moskva was struck by two Neptune cruise missiles fired from a secret location somewhere near Odesa (pictured, a test-fire of the Neptune missile takes place in 2019)

Ukraine claims the Moskva was struck by two Neptune cruise missiles fired from a secret location somewhere near Odesa (pictured, a test-fire of the Neptune missile takes place in 2019)

Ukrainian soldiers on Snake Island filmed a Russian warship before it attacked in February

Ukrainian soldiers on Snake Island filmed a Russian warship before it attacked in February

Border guard Roman Gribov right, who served on Snake Island and on the first day of Russia's invasion, became famous for his response to an ultimatum from the Russian missile cruiser Moskva, shouting to the invaders: 'Russian warship, go f**k yourself'. He later returned home from captivity and was awarded a medal (pictured)

Border guard Roman Gribov right, who served on Snake Island and on the first day of Russia’s invasion, became famous for his response to an ultimatum from the Russian missile cruiser Moskva, shouting to the invaders: ‘Russian warship, go f**k yourself’. He later returned home from captivity and was awarded a medal (pictured)

Ukraine’s home-made Neptune anti-ship missile 

The Neptune is an anti-ship cruise missile developed and produced by Ukraine based on the Soviet-designed Kh-35, but with improved range and electronics.

Ukraine began work on the rocket in 2015 after the last Russian invasion of its territory in which Putin annexed Crimea, which houses a large Russian naval presence.

Though the Soviet Kh-35 model can be launched from air, land or sea, it is thought the Ukrainian version can only be launched from land – though versions that could be used on ships were in development before the latest war broke out.

With a range of 170 miles, the Neptune is launched from the back of a vehicle that is accompanied by a radar truck that helps guide it to its target. The system is designed to work within 16 miles of the coastline.

Weighing almost 1 ton, the missile carries a warhead that is designed to destroy warships and transport vessels weighing up to 5,000 tons – much smaller than the Moskva, which has a displacement of 12,500 tons.

The missile first entered service in 2021, and the attack on the Moskva marks its first known use in combat. 

The Moskva missile cruiser left Sevastopol, Crimea in February for the Black Sea as part of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, launched by Vladimir Putin on February 24. 

Roman and his friends had been stationed on the 40-acre Snake Island near the Ukrainian and Romanian coasts on the Black Sea, and were on the small speck of land when the Moskva arrived.

The rocky island – known as Zmiinyi Island in Ukrainian – has a marine research station and is understood to be strategically important because of its resources including petroleum.

The recording of a Naval radio channel featured a Russian officer aboard the Moskva giving an ultimatum to Ukrainian forces on the island to surrender, or face being annihilated by the warship’s missiles.

The voice said: ‘This is a military warship. This is a Russian military warship. I suggest you lay down your weapons and surrender to avoid bloodshed and needless casualties. Otherwise, you will be bombed. Do you copy?’

After a short period of silence, Roman is heard asking a colleague, ‘Well this is it, should I tell him to go fuck himself?’ Another voice said, ‘Just in case…’

The volume was turned up as Roman responded: ‘Russian warship, go f**k yourself.’

His words came to epitomise the David v Goliath spirit that has marked Ukraine’s spirited resistance against the Russian war machine. Roman’s pugnacious message even prompted a patriotic poster campaign across the nation.

Although Ukrainian officials initially said all 13 guards had died in the subsequent Russian attack, President Zelensky later said some of them survived. 

A civilian ship called ‘Sapphire’ was sent to Snake Island to check on casualties after the island was seized by the Russians, but the crew also ended up being captured.  

They held for a month in a secret jail in Russia where Roman  lost 22 pounds and was ‘degraded’, but he later insisted he is ‘not a hero’. 

Ukraine warned late on Wednesday that Russia was ramping up efforts in the South and East as it seeks full control of Mariupol, in what would be the first major city to fall. Western governments are sending more military aid to bolster Kyiv.

Russia’s defence ministry on Wednesday said 1,026 soldiers from Ukraine’s 36th Marine Brigade, including 162 officers, had surrendered in Mariupol, which has been besieged for weeks, and that the port was fully under its control.

LAST MONTH: A satellite image made available by Maxar Technologies shows a burned and partially submerged Russian landing ship - the Orsk - near one of the port's loading/unloading quays, in the southern port city of Berdyansk, Ukraine, 25 March 2022

LAST MONTH: A satellite image made available by Maxar Technologies shows a burned and partially submerged Russian landing ship – the Orsk – near one of the port’s loading/unloading quays, in the southern port city of Berdyansk, Ukraine, 25 March 2022

Capturing its Azovstal industrial district, where the marines have been holed up, would give the Russians full control of Ukraine’s main Sea of Azov port, reinforce a southern land corridor and expand its occupation of the country’s East.

Ukraine’s general staff said Russian forces were attacking Azovstal and the port, but a defence ministry spokesman said he had no information about any surrender.

‘Russian forces are increasing their activities on the southern and eastern fronts, attempting to avenge their defeats,’ President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in a Wednesday night video address.

Reuters journalists accompanying Russian-backed separatists saw flames billowing from the Azovstal area on Tuesday, a day after Ukraine’s 36th Marine Brigade said its troops had run out of ammunition.

The United States announced on Wednesday an extra $800 million in military assistance including artillery systems, armoured personnel carriers and helicopters. This took total U.S. military aid to more than $2.5 billion. France and Germany also pledged more.

Senior U.S. officials are weighing whether to send a top cabinet member such as Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Austin Lloyd to Kyiv in a show of solidarity, a source familiar with the situation said.

Russia will view U.S. and NATO vehicles transporting weapons on Ukrainian territory as legitimate military targets, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told the TASS news agency.

It will impose tit-for-tat sanctions on 398 members of the U.S. House of Representatives and 87 Canadian senators, Interfax cited the foreign ministry as saying, after Washington targeted 328 members of Russia’s lower house of parliament.

Britain announced new financial measures on separatists. 

Ukraine says tens of thousands of people are believed to have been killed in Mariupol and accuses Russia of blocking aid convoys to civilians marooned there.

Its mayor, Vadym Boichenko, said Russia had brought in mobile crematoria ‘to get rid of evidence of war crimes’ – a statement that was not possible to verify. 

Go f*** yourself’ Russian warship is BLOWN UP: Cruiser Moskva is hit by Ukrainian missile Source link Go f*** yourself’ Russian warship is BLOWN UP: Cruiser Moskva is hit by Ukrainian missile

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