Russia claims flagship Moskva crew was evacuated to occupied Sevastopol

17 April, 10:44 AM
Russian defense officials allegedly meet the crew of sank Moskva flagship in Sevastopol. (Photo:Russian Defense Ministry/ТАСС via Telegram)

Russian defense officials allegedly meet the crew of sank Moskva flagship in Sevastopol. (Photo:Russian Defense Ministry/ТАСС via Telegram)

Russian media have shown footage of a "meeting” between the commander-in-chief of the Russian Navy, Admiral Nikolai Yevmenov and the Russian Black Sea Fleet command with the "crew" of the sunken Russian guided-missile cruiser the Moskva.

The video footage, released by the Russian Defense Ministry on April 16, was reportedly shot in occupied Sevastopol, but it is unknown when exactly.

However, the first part of the footage, which lasts about 30 seconds, has no sound – audio appears only during the comment of the commander-in-chief of the Russian Navy. There are about a hundred soldiers in the video, while the ship had a crew of more than 500 sailors.

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Yevmenov said that officers, midshipmen, and contract personnel would continue their service. The cruiser's commander, Anton Kuprin, whose death had been reported by the media, also appeared in the video.

According to the Novaya Gazeta Europe online newspaper, at the beginning of the video, the personnel commander should have reported on the number of personnel, the number of those present in the ranks, and the number of those who left (wounded, sick, dead, etc.), but this was not shown. Thus, the number of surviving sailors of the Moskva cruiser remain unknown.

The Moskva, which had been the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet, was hit by two Ukrainian-made Neptune anti-ship missiles, fired from a coastal battery, on April 13. 


Russia has not acknowledged officially that the ship was attacked, saying only that there was a fire on board, leading to the vessel's loss. However, shortly after Russia's Defense Ministry announced that the cruiser had sunk late on April 14, Russia carried out a missile attack on a factory in Kyiv that makes parts for Neptune missiles.

Natalia Humeniuk, the press secretary of the Coast Guard of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, said that the Russian invaders had failed to evacuate the crew of the cruiser due to stormy conditions. However, the Russians claim that they evacuated the crew.

Forbes Ukraine estimates the value of the Moskva to be around $750 million, making it Russia's most expensive single loss of equipment in the war by a large margin.

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