Russia admits sailor conscript’s death in sinking of flagship Moskva

3 August, 02:07 PM
The Russian Black Sea Fleet flagship the Moskava, pictured before it was sunk by a Ukrainian Neptune anti-ship missile on April 13. (Photo:REUTERS/Stringer)

The Russian Black Sea Fleet flagship the Moskava, pictured before it was sunk by a Ukrainian Neptune anti-ship missile on April 13. (Photo:REUTERS/Stringer)

Russian conscript Yegor Shkrebets, who served aboard Moskva – the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, sunk by Ukrainian forces back in April – was killed in action, Yegor’s father, Dmitriy Shkrebets, said in a post via Russian social media network VKontakte.

Shkrebets said he received his son’s death certificate 110 days after the fact, and posted a copy of the document, which states that Yegor Shkrebets died on April 13.

“Shkrebets Yegor Dmitriyevich, conscripted sailor, officially recognized by (Russia’s) General Staff as a combat veteran – died; now it’s documented,” Dmitriy Shkrebets said.

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Previously, the Russian Navy maintained that Yegor Shkrebets was “missing in action.”

Dmitriy Shkrebets was one of the first Russian citizens to start publicly talking about the sinking of Moskva, after Russian officials ignored his inquiries about the fate of his son. He accused Russian Defense Ministry of lying, and called Russian dictator Vladimir Putin a “bastard,” while still refusing to accept that Ukraine is a “fully-fledged country.”

The Ukrainian Navy used Neptune anti-ship cruise missile coastal batteries to sink Russian missile cruiser Moskva, the flagship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, on April 13. Russian Defense Ministry admitted the warship was sunk on April 14.

Media reports suggested that conscripts made up over half of Moskva’s crew of 500.

According to Ukrainian sources, only 58 people were rescued from the sinking flagship, as stormy weather interfered with Russian search-and-rescue operations.

Russia insists the crew was rescued, and even posted a video on April 16, allegedly showing the crewmembers at Sevastopol, Crimea. An investigation by Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe suggested the footage could have been recorded prior to Moskva’s sinking.

While the ship’s crew could have numbered anywhere between 410 and 680 people, media outlet The Insider counted only around 100 sailors in the video. It’s unclear how many people were actually aboard the warship when it was sunk.

Officially, Russia maintains only one person died aboard the flagship, with the rest being merely missing in action.

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