Russian flagship ‘remains afloat’ after munitions explosion: ministry

0
450

The Russian defence ministry said Thursday its Black Sea flagship Moskva, which was involved in Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine, is still afloat after a fire set off ammunitions explosions onboard.

“There is no open fire. The ammunitions explosions have stopped. The Moskva cruiser remains afloat,” the ministry said in a statement.

It added that the warship’s “main missile armaments” were not harmed and its crew has been evacuated to nearby ships in the Black Sea.

“Measures are ongoing to tow the cruiser into port,” the ministry said.

The Ukrainian military said earlier it had struck the Russian warship. The Russian defence ministry, however, said the cause of the fire was still being established.

The Moskva — which with other vessels in Moscow’s Black Sea fleet has been blockading the southern city of Mariupol — gained notoriety early in the war when it called on Ukrainian border troops defending the strategic Snake Island to surrender, only to be defiantly refused.