With everyone having a camera phone these days, it’s hard to hide anything. And so it is with Russia’s guided missile cruiser, the Moskva (Moscow). Hit by two Ukrainian Neptune missiles, it sank on April 14th in the Black Sea. The flagship Moskva is the largest Russian warship to be sunk in combat since WW2 and reportedly had 485 crew on board when hit. Today images and video footage have appeared on social media showing the ship, after it was abandoned by its crew.
BBC today reporting on these newly released images, details a media report: In an interview with the mother of a sailor it said was aboard, the Novaya Gazeta Europe newspaper said her son had told her by phone that the ship was hit by three missiles from land. “He called me and was crying because of what he had seen. It was terrifying,” she said, adding that she herself was terrified of having to wait for him to finish his service. Around 40 sailors were said to have been killed, several others are missing and many others wounded. Russia’s less than convincing version is the ship caught fire, the entire crew having been evacuated and makes no mention of being hit by missiles.
Today reported by the Guardian newspaper, another Russian mother said: she received a call (today) from the Russian defence ministry. Her son was dead. “He was only 19, he was a conscript,” said Tsyvova, who wept as she spoke by telephone. “They didn’t tell me anything else, no information on when the funeral would be. They report on 200 wounded sailors, suffering from burns.
The pictures and video clearly show the ship was seriously damaged. It’s still on fire and heavily listing to port (left side). Tugs are seen approaching the ship. Fire has engulfed the lower decks, as black smoke stains can be seen around the portholes. Upper deck areas had also suffered burning, notably the conning tower area (still on fire), from where the ship is commanded. The ships sole helicopter may have been destroyed on the helipad – note its open bay doors. All in all, one very sorry looking vessel. In terms of combat efficiency, Russia’s navy looks to be as incompetent as the Russian army. For a flagship and the pride of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, it had extremely poor-counter missile defences & even worse damage control procedures.
The sea counters Russia’s propaganda.
One of the most obvious thing you notice, is how calm the sea is. Predictably, Russia’s Ministry of Defence said the ship sunk while being towed due to “stormy seas.” However, the waters calm enough to use a pedalo. It’s more likely it simply rolled over and sunk.
Russia’s disinformation sinks like its ships.
With the disastrous loss of the ship, the Kremlin’s propaganda is trying to put on a brave fake news front. But like everything it does, the attempt leaves more questions than answers. On Saturday April 16th, the Russian defence ministry published images showing what it claimed to be the crew of the warship Moskva – the first time any sailors from the ship have been seen since its sinking. However, as the below images show, there’s only approx. 100 sailors seen in the video – roughly 40 officers and 60 rank and file. So where are the other 400ish sailors? So, either this is an old video, or there are only 100 crew left alive and unwounded . BBC report, which includes the video from where I took these screen grabs.