Even as the Russian flagship, Moskva sank to the bottom of the Black Sea, there have been contrasting reports from opposing camps. What is undisputed was that there was an explosion on board the ship and then it went down in bad weather as it was being towed to shore. But weather reports in the northern part of the Black Sea did not mention any storms. While the Ukrainians claim that two anti-ship cruise missiles took out the Moskva, Pentagon appears confused.
The security office has said it has insufficient information to go with either version but says that there was an explosion onboard the ship. Ukraine has said that its missiles hit the Moskva around 60 miles from the port city of Odesa.
Retired Admiral James Foggo, former commander of the US Navy in Europe and Africa said that it was a humiliating blow to the Russian Navy. He said it was astonishing that the Russian Navy could allow this to happen to them. So the authorities were still tied up in the forensics of the incident.
These Slava-class cruisers, among them the Moskva, were built in the Mykolaiv shipyard. Admiral Foggo said that the incident also pointed to how poorly the Russians handled the aftermath of the incident and failed in their damage control duties.
Pentagon Has No Clear Intelligence On Moskva’s Fate
Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said that they were not in a position to independently confirm the reason Moskva sank. And neither was the Pentagon in a position to dispute the claim.
The Moskva was headed east before reports came in that the ship was beginning to sink. Pentagon had surmised that it was likely to dock at Sevastopol, the Crimean port city on the Black Sea. This disputed peninsula in south Ukraine was seized and annexed by Russia in 2014.
Pentagon officials realize that the damage could have been done by some external force, such as a missile attack as the Ukrainians claim, or an internal accident like a fuel or engineering fire. Pentagon had earlier said that they did not know the extent of the damage and were certain of a fire on board, which Pentagon officials said was extensive.