A few photos of the burning and sinking Moskva cruiser of Russia's Black Sea Fleet have appeared on the Internet on April 18, 2022. It is believed that the pictures were taken from a nearby vessel shortly before the Moskva sank. The photo shows the Moskva heeling over to the port side.
The authenticity of the photographs has not been confirmed. However, the burning ship bears a striking resemblance to the Moskva cruiser.
Kremlin's official spokesman Dmitry Peskov could not estimate the authenticity of the photographs, which allegedly depict a fire on board the Moskva cruiser.
The photos and the video of the alleged fire on board the Russian cruiser appeared on Monday, April 18, in a number of Telegram channels.
Peskov said that he saw the photos and the video.
"However, we can not say to which extent they are authentic," he said.
The fire on the Moskva missile cruiser, the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Navy, was reported on April 14.
Later the same day, the Russian Defense Ministry reported that the Moskva cruiser sank in a storm while being towed for repairs to Sevastopol. The ship sank due to the damage that she suffered "during the fire and the detonation of ammunition."
No official information was released about the possible victims of the accident.
According to the Ministry of Defense, the entire crew of the Moskva was evacuated to other ships of the Black Sea Fleet.
The Kremlin has not previously commented on what happened to the Moskva. Dmitry Peskov only said that it was a prerogative of the Defence Ministry.
On April 16, the Ministry of Defense showed the meeting with the crew of the Moskva missile cruiser: the press service of the department published a video from Sevastopol, where the navy sailors were evacuated to.
It is worthy of note that the video and the photos of the alleged fire on the Moskva appeared the Osinttechnical account, which analyzes open data on military operations. The author of the images wrote that he could not verify their authenticity, "but this is a Slava-class cruiser." The photo is dated from April 15, while the death of the cruiser was officially announced on the evening of 14 April.
The Moskva missile cruiser with a displacement of 11,300 tons is the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Navy. She was built at the Nikolaev shipbuilding plant named after 61 Communards and put into service on January 30, 1983 under the name Slava. In 1996, the cruiser was renamed as Moskva. The main armament of the ship is 16 launchers of P-1000 Vulkan supersonic anti-ship missiles.
Up to 16,000 military men of the Armed Forces of Ukraine have been entrapped near the towns of Severodonetsk and Lysichansk