Ukraine Updates: Russian Warship Moskva Sinks After Fire and Explosions Onboard
We’re also giving Ukraine a bunch of money and equipment.
Day 50: It’s been 50 days since Russia launched its full-scale invasion to take over Ukraine.
Russia wants Mariupol, but it has already made it known it also wants Odesa. They lost footing in that port city when Ukrainian forces damaged the Moskva, a famed cruiser ship.
Also, do not call Ukrainians and Russians “brotherly peoples.”
Moskva has Sunk
Russian warship, what are you sinking?
— Ukraine / Україна (@Ukraine) April 14, 2022
Russia admitted that Moskva, the flagship of their Black Sea fleet, has sunk:
Russia’s defence ministry said the missile cruiser Moskva, the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea fleet, sank as it was towed back to port in stormy weather following an explosion and fire, Russian news agencies reported on Thursday.
The defence ministry had said earlier on Thursday that the Soviet-era ship had been badly damaged by the fire, which Ukraine said was a result of its missile strike.
The Russian Warship
Here’s an update on the flagship of the Russian fleet. Ukraine officers said Moskva started sinking after they hit it with Neptune missiles.
It is the same ship that attacked Snake Island.
Russia still says ammunition exploded on the ship and Ukraine didn’t do anything:
“The fire on the cruiser Moskva is under control. There are no flames visible. Ammunition supplies are no longer exploding.
“The cruiser Moskva is still afloat. The main missile armoury has not been damaged.
“The crew of the cruiser were evacuated to Black Sea Fleet vessels nearby. Measures are being taken to tow the cruiser into port.
“The causes of the fire are currently being established.”
Biden Authorizes $800 Million in Military Aid to Ukraine
Biden told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that he authorized $800 million more in military aid, including heavier weapons:
“We cannot rest now. As I assured President Zelenskyy, the American people will continue to stand with the brave Ukrainian people in their fight for freedom,” Biden said in a written statement.
The new package includes 11 Mi-17 helicopters that had been earmarked for Afghanistan before the U.S.-backed government collapsed last year. It also includes 18 155mm howitzers, along with 40,000 artillery rounds, counter-artillery radars, 200 armored personnel carriers and 300 additional “Switchblade” drones.
This was the first time howitzers have been provided to Ukraine by the United States.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said some of the systems, like the howitzers and radars, will require additional training for Ukrainian forces not accustomed to using American military equipment.
“We’re aware of the clock and we know time is not our friend,” Kirby said when asked about the speed of deliveries.
Russia Shells Kharkiv at Least 53 Times 24 Hours, Possibly With Cluster Munitions
Kharkiv is about 30 miles from the Russian border. Cluster munitions are banned:
Four civilian residents of Ukraine’s eastern second city Kharkiv were killed and ten were wounded on Wednesday as Russian forces stepped up their bombing campaign of the city, local officials said.
“The enemy is bombing residential homes, residential areas. Unfortunately, there are civilian casualties – the worst thing is that children are dying,” Kharkiv mayor Ihor Terekhov told Ukrainian national television.
Kharkiv region Governor Oleh Synehubov later wrote on the Telegram messaging app that four people were killed and ten wounded by strikes on the city on Wednesday.
Kharkiv has already come under significant Russian strikes, with Terekhov saying there hadn’t been a single day without strikes since the start of the invasion on Feb. 24.
“Clear Patterns of International Humanitarian Law Violations”
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) found that Russia violated numerous humanitarian laws:
“If they had respected their IHL obligations in terms of distinction, proportionality and precautions in attack and concerning specially protected objects such as hospitals, the number of civilians killed or injured would have remained much lower,” it says. “Similarly, considerably fewer houses, hospitals, cultural properties, schools, multi-story residential buildings, water stations and electricity systems would have been damaged or destroyed.”
“The World Organization Against Torture (OMCT), monitoring the situation in Ukraine, has indicated having received reports of numerous cases of torture in the Temporary Detention Centre of Kherson under the control of Russia,” the OSCE report also said. “Persons detained there, mostly Ukrainian veterans of military operations in eastern Ukraine and civilians, are severally beaten, subject to mock executions and denied access to food, water and medical care.”
Dear Macron: Ukrainians and Russians are not Brothers
French President Emmanuel Macron said we have to be careful when applying the word genocide because “the Ukrainians and Russians are brotherly people.”
Putin’s excuse to absorb Ukraine is based on that argument! They see Ukraine as part of Russia.
I knew the minute I read Macron’s comments that crap was about to go down. Oh, boy:
In response to his comments, Ukraine’s government said he did not appear to understand Russian forces’ deliberate attacks on civilians during the war.
“Brotherly people don’t kill children, don’t shoot civilians, don’t rape women, don’t mutilate the elderly and don’t destroy the homes of other brotherly people,” said Oleh Nikolenko, a Ukrainian foreign ministry spokesman.
“Even the fiercest enemies don’t commit atrocities against defenceless people.”
Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president, said it was “painful” that Mr Macron refused to call the killings genocide.
“Such things are very painful for us, so I will definitely do my best to discuss this issue with him,” Mr Zelensky said at a press conference with the visiting leaders of Poland and the Baltic states.
Now I want to know what Putin and Macron discussed during all those phone calls.
Moskva Supposedly Damaged Near Odesa
Ukrainian officials said their forces destroyed the Russian ship Moskva near Odesa. It is the same ship that Ukrainian troops defied at the beginning of the full-scale invasion.
Russia denies the destruction, but admitted Moskva’s ammunition was detonated:
Ammunition stockpiles aboard a Russian ship that was famously defied by Ukrainian troops early in the war have detonated, according to a statement from the Russian defence ministry.
A fire caused the explosion on the Moskva, the statement in Russian media said, adding that all sailors had evacuated beforehand.
The statement said: “The cruiser Moskva’s ammunition has detonated as a result of a fire on the warship.
“The vessel is seriously damaged. The entire crew have been evacuated. The cause of the blaze is being investigated.”
It did not specify the cause of the fire.
But earlier on Wednesday, the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet was hit by Ukrainian rockets, according to the governor of Odesa.
Ukrainian officials said Russia was struggling to rescue the estimated 510 crew members on board.
The Moskva warship rose to fame early in the war when Ukrainian defenders of Snake Island refused calls to surrender and told the Russian ship to “go to hell”, before they were ultimately taken prisoner.
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Another example of misleading information
Neither Russia (nor China) are parties or signatories of the Cluster Convention ( which is a treaty of mutual agreement and not a “law”) so its not binding on them regarding usage of the weapons.
Just more Black propaganda against Russia.
(And again, I am not a fan or supporter of Russia in any way and personally believe they are in fact most likely in willful violation of “some things” which every participant in every war is to some degree– that said, the Ukraine is not “innocent” either and the press is clearly one sided leading me to believe this is more a propaganda op rather than a legitimate reporting action)
Exactly. There are multiple issues with the ‘reporting’ of events in Ukraine. Breathlessly proclaiming that x event, as claimed by one belligerent, is a violation of ‘international’ law or war crime regardless of whether the Nation is a signatory to that particular treaty/compact. No skepticism, no digging for facts, no context, just a broadcast that repeats the talking points supplied by one belligerent. IOW propaganda.
As an example: the defiant Ukrainian defenders on the island telling the Russians to eff off, then reported as being killed, fighting to the last man. We now know this didn’t happen. The Russians didn’t kill them out of hand, the defenders were captured after surrender. Obviously the true events don’t make for nearly as compelling a story and it loses it’s punch as propaganda.
This shoddy journalism will create problems. Firstly as original stories collapse when more facts are revealed it causes honest observers and consumers of news to distrust the journalists and talking heads who are guilty of repeating propaganda v facts. This carries over onto the news organizations themselves who fail to rein this in.
Secondly throwing around terms like genocide a is a very dangerous escalation. Consider if you are Putin; are you more likely or less likely to allow for or accept a defeat in this circumstance? These claims, IMO, serve to harden the resolve to achieve success in eastern and Southern Ukraine. This episode will end. When that occurs how do those throwing around terms like genocide accept an armistice or peace? They will have spent months telling their citizens that Putin and Russia are guilty of crimes, how does a lasting peace become a reality under those conditions?
In addition I would also add that it dramatically cheapens actual genocide to throw it around like this.
When every war is genocide there is no such thing.
Macron is acting like a statesmen while our guys are acting like well…the less said about them the better.
It’s also part of the reason the Wiermarch was able to do what it did for so long.
There had been so much propaganda during WWI that turned out to be complete garbage, that people were able to ignore the reports coming out of Germany much more easily than otherwise.
In WW II terms, I’d say the sinking of the Moskva is akin to the sinking of the HMS Hood, the pride of the Roal Navy, by the Bismarck in ’41. The Russian Navy will need a long time getting over this one.
Russia invaded Ukraine. Not the other way around. I am not even talking about their governments, I don’t really care. One country invading another for territorial gain should be opposed by everyone.
I agree. Everyone criticizing Ukraine seems to forget the fact you pointed out: It was Russia that invaded Ukraine simply to seize territory, and not because Ukraine posed any kind of threat to it.
At The Nuremberg Trials they called it “waging aggressive war” and hung the leaders.
Israel better hope Hamas never launches another rocket because I am afraid the standard taken up concerning Russia (Only accusation needed, no need for at least hypothetically neutral investigation; if civilians are hit it is genocide no questions asked a responsible president of a major power saying it isn’t genocide and trying to de-escalate gets demonized immediately) would sink Israel much faster than Russia.
What’s with this “if civilians are hit it is genocide” straw man?
I haven’t seen political or military leaders making that claim. (I haven’t seen anybody making that claim).
Israel’s already been dealing with that crap regardless. Jews are supposed to just let themselves be killed, and have no right to defend themselves. If there happen to be civilians right on the spot from which rockets are being fired, they’re not allowed to return fire. And no matter how much care they take not to hit civilians, they will be accused of massacres anyway. Pallywood, fake funerals, all of it.
It’s like neither Macron nor Biden have any experience in international affairs. Neither, at this point, should be saying anything extreme whether it’s too generous to Russia/Putin or too harsh, i.e. calling Putin a war criminal and that there is genocide, which by the way is a very specific legal term and Biden changed international norms by saying what he said. It’s okay if a nonprofit group or non-state actor says it, but an entirely different matter when a head of state says it. Both Macron and Biden should be using neutral language and the theme of public statements should be encouraging a cease fire for further negotiations, even a short cease fire. And if war crimes/genocide need to be talked about, it needs to be framed as “the international community is encouraged to look into these allegations, but the more immediate concern is seeking an immediate cease fire which would limit or stop any alleged illegal actions.”
I disagree for this reason
I am convinced both Biden and Macron have both individual and probably combined agendas and desired outcomes and the bias and word selection is calculated and deliberate to support achieving their deliverables.
The wording is accusatory and inflammatory by design and intent- they want ( and need) to shape opinion against Russia for the next steps.
Neither want this war to stop- they want it to escalate.
Trump also accused Russia of genocide. Even though we all know not every war crime is genocide
You are correct and even as a Trump supporter, his assessment is simply wrong on this issue.
Flagship? Whose flag was it flying?
And that Snake ISland thing was debunked in week two of the war.
Russia’s flag. But “was” is indeed the operative word.
Bit embarrassing losing your flagship to a country with no navy, isn’t it.
As for Snake Island, ‘debunked’ kind of ignores the radio messages, which the evidence suggests were entirely real.
By the way, did you see the new stamp issued by the Ukrainian post office on the same day they sank the flagship of the Black Sea fleet? It’s.. relevant.
Yes, it would have been flying the Russian flag. But since all warships fly their nation’s flag a ship designated as a flagship means something entirely different.
What would be considered general officers (1 to 4 stars in rank) in our ground or air forces are called flag officers in the USN and USCG. Every flag officer flies his or her flag in their flagship. Here’s a picture of what the flags of flag officers fly when actually in command at sea.
In other words, the Moskva was the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet because it was essentially the “personal” ship of the Black Sea Fleet commander. The Admiral in command of the fleet would have or should have been in that ship commanding the fleet at sea. He would have been flying his personal flag.
A flagship built as a flagship will have separate command and communications suites than the commanding officer. The commanding officer commands that individual ship. He’ll have his own command bridge, captain’s quarters, etc., as well as his own communications facilities. The flag officer commands the fleet. He’ll have his own flag bridge, flag officer’s quarters, staff and staff quarters, and his own flag mess so the admiral isn’t forced to dine with the “lower orders.”
If the Black Sea Fleet commander wasn’t taking command at sea and was not embarked, the flagship wouldn’t have been flying his flag. Flagships only fly the admiral’s flag when the flag officer is embarked. If he had been embarked and had to be transferred to another Black Sea Fleet unit. They would have struck his flag, then transferred it and hoisted it in the unit he next embarked in. That ship would then have been designated his flagship but that ship wouldn’t have had the flag officer facilities that would have been built into the Moskva.
The way it works in the USN in our numbered fleets is that the fleet commander has his/her own flagship. USS Blue Ridge LCC-19 is the flagship of 7th fleet. Note that it isn’t a front line combatant.
It is built on an amphibious ship hull and only lightly armed with anti-aircraft defense weapons, Bushmaster cannons, and .50 cal machine guns. LCC stands for Amphibious ship, Command and Control. It was commissioned in 1970, but since it isn’t intended to directly engage the enemy such ship can last for a long time. Its real “weapons” are its C4I capabilities (command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence). The entire ship is dedicated to just one purpose; supporting the commander. It’s been refit and upgraded several times over the years. Those fiberglass domes are there to conceal the ship’s sensors, radars, communications antennae, etc. The current commander of 7th fleet is a Vice Admiral (3 star).
The Aircraft Carrier is the flagship of a Carrier Strike Group. Currently the USS George Washington is the permanently forward deployed Carrier in 7th fleet. The flag officer is also in command of the 10 permanently deployed surface combatants (3 Aegis cruisers, which I don’t care what the MFM says are much more capable than the Slava class, and 7 Arleigh Burke class Aegis destroyers). Together these ships are designated Carrier Strike Group 5/Commander Task Force 70 (all USN units have administrative and operational chains of command). The commander is a Rear Admiral (Lower Half, a 1 star). He and any other CSGs attached to 7th Fleet take their orders from the Vice Admiral in Blue Ridge, but the USN that won WWII and that I joined the fleet commander wouldn’t micromanage the officers in tactical command (OTCs) since they were the commanders on the scene. If two or more CSGs are operating together then one would be designated senior to the other flag officer, but again the OTC of one CSG wouldn’t/shouldn’t try to micromanage the other, just expect the junior flag officer to generally conform his movements and actions to the operational plan. And the flag officers in each flagship are not supposed to interfere with the Captain in command of the aircraft carrier. That’s why the commanding officer and flag officer have their own entirely separate command and control facilities.
It’s a completely different philosophy than the Soviet/Russian navy. Note the Black Sea Fleet commander’s flagship was the fleet’s most powerful warship. Russian fleet commanders have nothing like the Blue Ridge.
In other words, if the Moskva has been sunk (and I believe the Russians have confirmed it has) than the blow is compounded by the fact that not only has the Black Sea Fleet lost its most powerful warship it’s lost the closest thing the Black Sea Fleet has to a command and control ship.
It can not be replaced. Per the Montreux Convention their are special restrictions on warships wishing to transit the Turkish Straits (Bosporus and Dardanelles). Merchant ships of all nations can transit during peace or war. During peacetime the Russians could send another Slava from the Pacific or Northern fleets. But no matter what euphemisms Putin uses to describe his war of aggression against Ukraine (“Special Military Operation”) it’s a war. And per the Montreux Convention warships of belligerent nations, even Black Sea fleet powers like Russia, can’t send warships through the straits unless they were already homeported there before the war began.
If a Black Sea Fleet ship is conducting operations in the Mediterranean, it can go home. But the Turks have already denied request to transit from Russian warships that are attached to other fleets. That’s what I mean; since on other Slava class cruisers were homeported in the Black Sea, no other Slava will be allowed to transit until the war is over.
Couldn’t disagree more.
The verbal excess is calculated to stop or reduce the attacks on civilians.
And since the Russian military is incapable of successfully engaging an actual military opponent, this deprives them of their most effective weapon.
This is like calling North and South Korea “brotherly peoples”.
Hell, if you cluster bombed my tiny, rural neighborhood you’d have more than 14 casualties. How do you intentionally bomb a compact residential neighborhood and only kill so few?
The propaganda with this is just insane. We know Russia will lie to us in a heartbeat. We have documents a huge number of cases of Ukraine lying to us in this short conflict. Why do we accept what either of them say as true?
Possibly because journalists from all over the world are in Ukraine?
The ones that told us all about the Ghost of Kyiv, amirite?
It would be so amusing if the Russian ship accidentally hit a Russian mine they’ve been spreading around so freely. Probably not, but it would be funny.
breaking news, just out – Russian Government has admitted that the tow failed, and the Moskva has now sunk.
what’s even worse for them is that the Moskva, performing the same role as a US Ticonderoga Class, provided area air defense for the entire Black Sea fleet, and is irreplaceable under current conditions.
Not exactly irreplaceable. Reportedly, the Russians have 2 more of the class operating in the Med.
Interesting side note – they were all built in Ukrainian shipyards.
Hey Tom Servo, nice to see you on here.
Thanks for the news, may many more sink.