Russian flagship Moskva ‘seriously damaged’ by explosion | Russia-Ukraine war News

Russia said the explosion damage was caused ‘by fire’, and Ukraine said it targeted the ship with missile strikes.

The Russian Black Sea warship that led the navy’s assault on Ukraine was “seriously damaged” by an explosion that a Ukrainian official said was the result of a missile attack.

The Russian Defense Ministry was quoted by state media as saying on Thursday that the damage to the missile cruiser Moskva was caused by explosive shells “due to fire”.

Odesa governor said Ukrainian forces attacked the ship with missiles, while presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said “we don’t understand what happened”.

The Russian Defense Ministry said the crew had been evacuated, but “the ship was seriously damaged”.

Moscow is the second largest ship known to have suffered serious damage since the beginning of the war. Last month, Ukraine said it destroyed an amphibious support ship, Orsk, in the smaller Sea of ​​Azov.

Moscow’s Black Sea Fleet is blockading Mariupol and off Odesa, and its ships have been used to bombard coastal cities.

Moscow was famous early in the war when it called on the Ukrainian border troops defending the strategic Snake Island to surrender, but was staunchly rebuffed.

It was previously deployed during the Syrian conflict, where it served as naval protection for the Russian forces’ Hmeimim airbase.

With the war entering Saturday weekUS President Joe Biden has announced an $800 million military aid package for Ukraine that includes helicopters and armored personnel carriers.

And international prosecutors say the conflict has turned Ukraine into a “crime scene,” suggesting that those responsible may one day face prosecution.

Originally expected to quickly overtake his neighbor, Russia has faced fierce resistance, prompted Moscow on Wednesday to threaten to attack command centers in Kyiv if Ukraine continued to launch attacks on Russian soil.

The warning has raised alarm in Kyiv, which is experiencing some respite after Russian forces withdrew from the region after failing to secure the capital.

Moscow is believed to be refocusing the war on the south and east of the country, with Ukrainian authorities warning of new bloody clashes in the eastern Donbas region.

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