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10 May, 04:01 PM

President's Office rep comments on Russian wrangling over ‘disappearance’ of Moskva crew

Adviser to the head of the President's Office Sergii Leshchenko on May 9 spoke of the infighting seen between Russian propagandists after Ukraine sank the Russian Black Sea Fleet flagship, the cruiser Moskva.

Leshchenko said that the father of a Russian sailor who probably died on the cruiser had received a reply from the Russian prosecutor's office that his son had allegedly been "absent at the military base," after which Russian propagandists began blaming the prosecutor's office for being "inhumane in the face of the grief of the sailor."

"Russia itself is not ready to admit its own losses, but at the same time it is ready to glorify those who took part in the unprovoked war against Ukraine," Leshchenko said.

Leshchenko also responded to the latest comments from Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and representatives of his regime about Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. He said that Ukraine never planned an "attack on Crimea," instead hoping for a diplomatic settlement, and nor did it plan an "attack on Russian territory."

The Ukrainian Armed Forces struck the guided missile cruiser Moskva on April 13. The warship was hit by Ukrainian Neptune anti-ship missiles and suffered serious damage. On the evening of April 14, the Russian Defense Ministry acknowledged that the cruiser had sunk.

On April 16, the Russian Defense Ministry published a video of a meeting between the commander-in-chief of the Russian Navy and "cruiser sailors" who were allegedly evacuated. Part of the video had no sound. The Insider observed about 100 sailors in the video. At the same time, according to the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Oleksii Danilov, the crew numbered 510 sailors, with 58 of them rescued.

Parents stirred up a scandal when they began to report the probable death of their conscript sons aboard the cruiser. Russia has officially recognized the death of one person, while another 27 are considered "missing."

The Russian publication Agentstvo.Novosti previously wrote that the conscripts may have made up more than half of the crew of the sunken cruiser.

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