Russian MoD: Moskva missile cruiser sank while being towed
Stormy seas have caused the flagship to sink into waters.
The Russian Defense Ministry on Thursday announced that the Moskva missile cruiser sank while being towed during a storm due to the damage it sustained during the detonation of ammunition.
"During the towing of the Moskva cruiser to the designation port, the ship lost stability due to hull damage, sustained during the detonation of ammunition because of a fire. Amid the heavy storm, the ship sank," the MoD said.
The crew, according to the MoD, was evacuated to Black Sea Fleet ships nearby.
Earlier on Thursday, the ministry explained that the ship's main missile armament was not damaged, that the cruiser remained buoyant, and that the crew was evacuated.
"The Moskva cruiser retains its buoyancy. The main missile armament was not damaged. The crew of the cruiser was evacuated to the ships of the Black Sea Fleet in the area," the statement said.
Russia has not yet confirmed that the source of the fire is a Ukrainian strike, and said that the cause of the fire is being investigated.
"I can’t tell you anything, military reports are regularly sent to the Supreme Commander-in-Chief on all events," Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said when asked by journalists about how the Russian president took the news about the incident with the cruiser.