How big a loss to Russia is the sinking of the Moskva missile cruiser?_freckle removal remedies

ReutersReuters

How big a loss to Russia is the sinking of the Moskva missile cruiser?

·4 min read

(Reuters) -Russia has confirmed the Moskva missile cruiser, the flagship of its Black Sea Fleet, has sunk while being towed to port following what it said was a fire and explosions involving ammunition stowed onboard.

Ukraine says the Moskva's fate was sealed by a missile strike launched by its forces from the coast which ripped open the hulking Soviet-era ship's hull. Russia's defence ministry has not confirmed that version of events. Reuters is unable to verify either side's assertions.

Here's what we do know, and what the sinking means (and does not mean) for Russia's battle-readiness:

WHAT CAPABILITIES DOES THE SINKING DEPRIVE RUSSIA OF?

Russia has powerful air defence systems deployed in Crimea, which it seized from Ukraine in 2014, but the Moskva was able to provide long-range and mobile air defence protection for the entire Black Sea Fleet and was a floating command and control centre. Its loss degrades the fleet's air defences, particularly on longer range missions.

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE CREW?

The ship had a crew of around 500 sailors who Russia said were successfully evacuated to other ships before being returned to their home port of Sevastopol in Crimea on Friday. Ukraine has suggested there are likely to have been fatalities, but Russia has not said anything on the subject yet.

WILL IT LOSS CHANGE THE COURSE OF THE UKRAINE CONFLICT?

Unlikely to, but Britain's Ministry of Defence says its loss is likely to prompt Russia to review its naval posture in the Black Sea. U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that while the sinking would have a symbolic impact and potentially raise questions about Russia's longer-term naval capabilities, it would be unlikely to have a major impact on the course of the conflict. The Russian navy has so far not played a big role.

One U.S. official said that Russia had only used its warships in a limited fashion, to carry out occasional strikes and resupply troops in the south. Russia retains naval dominance in the immediate region and the Moskva was equipped to destroy enemy vessels at sea but little is left of Ukraine's navy.

(editor:)

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