Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said that Russia's Moskva cruiser was currently traveling east on her own. Most likely the Moskva will be put on repairs in Sevastopol, Crimea, he added.
"We know she suffered an explosion,” Kirby said in an interview on MSNBC. "It looks like — from the images that we have been able to look at — it looks like it was a pretty sizable explosion, too. We don't know what caused that explosion.”
In an interview on CNN, Kirby said the explosion was "sizable enough.” According to him, US officials "picked up indications that other naval vessels around her tried to come to her assistance.”
"Eventually, that wasn't apparently needed, so she's making her own way now across the Black Sea, and we'll continue to try to monitor this as best we can. Certainly, it could have been damage from some external force, like a missile or an attack of some kind, a torpedo or something like that. But it could also be something that happens inside the skin of the ship — an engineering fire, a fuel fire. You just don't know," Kirby said.
It is worthy of note that Ukrainian media earlier reported unison that it was a Ukrainian Neptune anti-ship cruise missile that struck the Moskva. In their further reports, Ukrainian media said that the Moskva cruiser had sunk. As it turns out now, the Ukrainians were bluffing.
Andrey Biletsky, the founder of Ukraine's nationalist Azov* battalion (banned in Russia), published a video of a Ukrainian Neptune missile that allegedly hit Russia's Moskva missile cruiser.
Many mass media outlets republished the video. However, the video is fake.
Biletsky's video is a mirrored and cut out piece of a Norwegian rocket demonstration, which was filmed nine years ago. The original video was posted in 2013 with a headline Norwegian armed forces destroy marine vessel with Naval Strike Missile. Click the link to watch. This video is from 2013 indeed.
Military expert Viktor Litovkin expressed his point of view regarding recent reports about the mission of US reconnaissance aircraft Boeing P-8A Poseidon. It was reported that the aircraft flew in the area where Russia's Moskva missile cruiser (Project 1164 Atlant) was docked. The expert believes that the United States wanted to know the scale of damage that the Russian warship had suffered.
"The United States wants to know what damage the cruiser has suffered, what systems went out of order, what measures the Russian Navy command will take to bring the ship back into service, and how long it will take. The Americans are analyzing all this, all this is very interesting for them. We need to understand why the alleged explosion of ammunition occurred as this is very important information. I do not rule out that they have photos and videos of everything," the expert told news.ru publication.
The Moskva cruiser carries Vulkan anti-ship missiles and Kinzhal air defense systems, which is capable of shooting down any aircraft. hit any aircraft. The arsenal of the ship also includes a rocket launcher and torpedo tubes.
According to Flightradar portal, the Boeing P-8A Poseidon anti-submarine patrol aircraft was recorded about 70 kilometers from the Moskva cruiser. The aircraft was recorded in the eastern part of Romanian airspace.
Also read: Moskva cruiser fire: What happened?
The Ukrainian military, who left the territory of the besieged Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, declared their desire to negotiate