Russian warship seriously damaged in Black Sea

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Russia confirmed Wednesday that the flagship of its Black Sea fleet had been evacuated after it was “seriously damaged,” claiming that a fire on board caused an explosion, Russian media said. The vessel was evacuated, Reuters reported.

Ukrainian officials, however, said their military hit the ship with two cruise missiles. Russia did not provide any details about the cause of the fire.

MaksymMarchenko, the governor of Odesa in Ukraine’s southern region, stated that “Neptune missiles guarding Black Sea caused very severe damage” to the Russian Moskva cruiser.

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The Russian Navy's guided missile cruiser Moskva sails in the Bosphorus, on its way to the Mediterranean Sea, in Istanbul, Turkey June 18, 2021. Picture taken June 18, 2021. 

The Russian Navy’s guided missile cruiser Moskva sails in the Bosphorus, on its way to the Mediterranean Sea, in Istanbul, Turkey June 18, 2021. Picture taken June 18, 2021.
(REUTERS/Yoruk Isik)

Unconfirmed reports early Thursday said the ship had sunk. Last month, Ukraine claimed it had destroyed another Russian ship in the Sea of Azov. The Orsk was a landing support vessel.

The Russian missile cruiser Moskva, the flagship of Russia's Black Sea Fleet is seen anchored in the Black Sea port of Sevastopol, on Sept. 11, 2008.

The Russian missile cruiser Moskva, the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet is seen anchored in the Black Sea port of Sevastopol, on Sept. 11, 2008.
(AP Photo, File)

Russia’s naval ships have been strategically placed in the Black Sea to support the military’s effort to take control of south Ukrainian port cities like Mariupol, according to Reuters.

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Ukraine says tens of thousands of people have died in Mariupol and the government has accused Russia of war crimes there and in other cities for allegedly targeting civilians.

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