The Russian ship “Moskva” was attacked by two Ukrainian missiles before sinking in the Black Sea, a U.S. defense official said Friday (04/15/2022), which was a “big blow” to Russia.
“We estimate they were struck by two Neptunes,” an unnamed Pentagon official told reporters, dismissing reports that Moscow’s primary missile had suffered “severe damage” by fire and then sank.
However, the U.S. official did not confirm the version that the Ukrainian army diverted “Moscow” defense by drone to one side of the ship, while Neptune’s anti-ship missiles struck from the other side.
United States: “We believe there were victims”
“We think there are casualties, but it is difficult to estimate how many,” he said.
The main naval base of the Russian navy found near the Syrian port of Tartus is Moscow. (Archive (17.12.2015)
Russia, which has not officially acknowledged the sinking of a Black Sea Navy flagship ship as a result of a Ukrainian missile attack, has announced the evacuation of personnel.
“It’s a big blow, a sign,” the official added. But, above all, the loss of “Moscow”, one of the three Slava class ships to Russia, “creates a vacuum in military capabilities” in southern Ukraine, where President Vladimir Putin has decided to no longer focus on its operations. And the next attack.
Russia cannot replace a powerful ship
Under the Montreux agreement, “Turkish warships will not be allowed to enter the Black Sea, and (the Russians) will not be able to convert it into another Slava-class ship,” he explained.
Ankara restricts access to the Black Sea through the Montreux Convention, signed in 1936, which guarantees free movement on the Phosphorus Strait and the Tortonelles Strait between Europe and Asia, but also grants the right to block warships in the area. If war, ships must return to their bases.
A Pentagon official has warned that the sinking of “Moskva” could lead the Russian navy to become more vigilant in the war in Ukraine.
In kyiv, a Ukrainian military official called Russia “unforgiving” for the sinking of its flagship Ukraine and said the sinking of the “symbol of Russian imperial ambitions” would provoke an increase in Moscow’s attacks.
jc (afp, ap)
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