Russian Moskva-class ship sank after fire, marking major setback in Ukraine war – National

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Major of Russia Black Sea Fleet, a guided missile cruiser that has become a powerful target for Ukrainian The challenge sank in the early days of the war, Thursday after being badly damaged in the latest setback to the invasion of Moscow.

Ukrainian officials said their forces bombed the ship with missiles, while Russia acknowledged a fire aboard the Moskva but was not attacked. The United States and other Western officials could not confirm the cause of the fire.

The loss of the warship named after the Russian capital is a symbolic and devastating defeat for Moscow as its forces regroup for a renewed offensive in eastern Ukraine after withdrawing from most of the north, including the capital.

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Russia contains fire on warship Moskva as Ukraine claims missile strike

The Russian Defense Ministry said the ship sank in a storm while being towed to a port. Russia said earlier that the fire that broke out on the ship, which usually had 500 sailors on board, forced the entire crew to evacuate. She later said the fire was contained and the ship would be towed to port with the missile launchers intact.

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The ship was able to carry 16 long-range cruise missiles, and their removal reduces Russian firepower in the Black Sea. It is also a blow to Russia’s standing in a war already widely seen as a historical mistake. The Russian invasion is now in its eighth week, interrupted by resistance from Ukrainian fighters backed by arms and other aid sent by Western nations.

During the early days of the war, the Moskva was reportedly the battleship that called on Ukrainian soldiers stationed on Snake Island in the Black Sea to surrender in a confrontation. In a widespread recording, a soldier responded: “Russian warship, go (expletive) yourself.”

The Associated Press has not been able to independently verify the incident, but Ukraine and its supporters consider it an iconic moment of defiance. The state recently unveiled a postage stamp in memory of this.


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Second mass grave discovered in Bucha, Ukraine amid allegations Russia used chemical warfare


Second mass grave discovered in Bucha, Ukraine amid allegations Russia used chemical warfare

News of the damage to the main ship has overshadowed Russian claims of advances in the southern port city of Mariupol, where they have been fighting the Ukrainians since the early days of the invasion in some of the fiercest battles of the war — at horrific cost to civilians.

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Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said on Wednesday that 1,026 Ukrainian soldiers had surrendered at a metallurgical plant in the city. But Vadim Denisenko, an advisor to Ukraine’s Interior Minister, rejected the claim, telling Current Time TV that “the battle over the seaport is still going on today.”

It was not clear how many forces were still defending Mariupol.

Russian state television broadcast footage purportedly from Mariupol showing dozens of men in camouflage clothing walking with their hands raised and carrying others on stretchers. A man holding a white flag.

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Mariupol was the scene of some of the worst suffering of the war. A dwindling number of Ukrainian defenders are holding out against a Russian siege that has trapped more than 100,000 civilians in desperate need of food, water, and heating.

On Monday, the mayor said more than 10,000 civilians had been killed in the siege, and that the death toll could exceed 20,000. Weeks of assaults and deprivation had left bodies “carpeted in the streets,” he said.

The capture of Mariupol is critical for Russia because it will allow its forces in the south, which came through the annexed Crimea, to fully associate with the forces in the eastern Donbass region, the industrial heartland of Ukraine and the target of the upcoming offensive.

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The Russian military continues to move helicopters and other equipment together for such an effort, according to a senior US defense official, and is likely to add more ground combat units “over the coming days.” But it remains unclear when Russia could launch a larger offensive in the Donbass.


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‘Enormous suffering’: Exhausted Ukrainians fear new potential Russian offensive


‘Enormous suffering’: Exhausted Ukrainians fear new potential Russian offensive

Moscow-backed separatists have been fighting Ukraine in the Donbass since 2014, the same year Russia seized Crimea. Russia recognized the independence of the rebel areas in Donbass.

Losing Moskva could delay any new large-scale attack.

Across the Black Sea to the northwest of Sevastopol, Maxim Marchenko, the governor of the Odessa region, said the Ukrainians had hit the ship with two Neptune missiles and caused “serious damage”.

The Russian Defense Ministry said that the ammunition on board exploded as a result of a fire, without explaining the cause of the fire. She said the “main missile weapons” were not damaged. In addition to cruise missiles, the warship also carried air defense missiles and other cannons.

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The Neptune is an anti-ship missile recently developed by Ukraine based on a former Soviet design. The missile launchers are mounted on trucks stationed near the coast, and according to the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, the missiles can hit targets up to 280 kilometers (175 miles). That would have put Moskva within range, based on where he was when the fire started.

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Other Russian ships that were also in the northern Black Sea moved south after the Moskva caught fire, a senior US defense official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal military assessments.

Before the Moskva sank, Yury Sak, an adviser to Ukraine’s defense minister, told the AP that removing it meant “we can only sigh because it means fewer missiles will reach Ukrainian cities.”

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Thursday that the United States has not been able to confirm Ukraine’s allegations that the warship struck. However, he called it “a big blow to Russia.”

Sullivan told the Economic Club of Washington.

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Russia invaded on February 24 and lost thousands of fighters. The conflict has killed countless Ukrainian civilians and forced millions more to flee.


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More international aid comes as Ukraine prepares for the next big Russian offensive


More international aid comes as Ukraine prepares for the next big Russian offensive

They also inflate prices at grocery stores and petrol pumps, while affecting the global economy. The head of the International Monetary Fund said, on Thursday, that the war helped push the organization to lower the economic outlook for 143 countries.

Also on Thursday, Russian authorities accused Ukraine of sending two low-flying military helicopters across the border and shooting at apartment buildings in the village of Klimovo in Russia’s Bryansk region, about 11 kilometers (7 miles) from the border. The Russian Investigative Committee said seven people, including a child, were injured.

Russia’s state security service had earlier said that Ukrainian forces fired mortars at a border post in Bryansk as the refugees were crossing, forcing them to flee.

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These reports could not be independently verified. Earlier this month, Ukrainian security officials denied Kyiv was behind an airstrike on an oil depot in the Russian city of Belgorod, about 55 kilometers (35 miles) from the border.

Associated Press journalists around the world contributed to this report.

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