(CNN) – One of the most important warships of the Russian Navy has been abandoned or floats on the bottom of the Black Sea, a heavy blow to the army fighting the Ukrainian opposition 50 days after Vladimir Putin invaded neighboring Ukraine.
Russian state media have reported that Russian sailors have fired off their Black Sea Navy’s first guided missile ship, Moscow, following the explosion of ammunition on board.
Russian state media TASS and the RIA quoted the Russian Defense Ministry as saying that Moscow had been badly damaged in the incident and that the cause of the fire was being investigated. No Russian casualties were reported.
But a few hours ago, a Ukrainian official said the Russian warship had been hit by missiles fired from Ukraine.
The CNN could not confirm whether the ship was attacked or its current status, as major storms in the Black Sea obscured satellite images and sensitive satellite data, but analysts said the ship’s fire could lead to a catastrophic eruption. It can sink.
Whatever the cause of the fire, analysts say it is a severe blow to the heart of the Russian Navy and national pride, compared to the loss of a U.S. Navy warship or current aircraft carrier during World War II.
“The loss of a ballistic missile submarine or Kutsnetsov (Russia’s only aircraft carrier) will only deal a severe blow to the morale of the Russian people and the reputation of the Navy,” said retired Navy Captain Carl Schuster and former director. Activities at the Joint Intelligence Center of the United States Pacific Command.
Alessio Badlano, a professor of war and strategy at King’s College London, said the loss of the warship was a “big blow” to Russia.
“Ships operate far from the public eye, and their operations rarely make the news. He said.
Moscow, Russia’s premier
Moscow, 186 meters long, with nearly 500 personnel, is the pride of the Russian Navy in the Black Sea. Naval-Technology.com, a military base, first renamed the Soviet Navy Slava in the 1980s, then renamed Moscow in 1995, and after restoration re-entered service in 1998.
Moskva is armed with anti-ship and anti-aircraft missiles, as well as torpedoes and naval rifles and close missile defense systems.
They all represent massive amounts of explosives in their ammunition magazines. Any fire coming near them would have given the crew limited options to deal with the threat, Schuster said.
“When your ammunition magazine (s) catches fire, you have two options: 1) submerge them or 2) abandon the ship,” Schuster said. “Otherwise, his crew will be destroyed by a devastating explosion following a fire involving several hundred tons of weapons.”
Odessa Regional Administrator Maxim Marchenko said in a telegram that Ukrainian forces had attacked Moscow using Neptune cruise missiles. If that were true, Moscow would be the largest warship ever to be deactivated by a missile, Schuster said.
Such an achievement would reflect a turning point for the Kiev forces.
Ukraine attack on Russian warship
Neptune is a Ukrainian weapon developed in the country from the Soviet KH-35 ship missile. According to Ukrainian media reports, it began operating in Ukrainian forces last year.
Lt. Cmdr. As reported in Jason Lancaster’s post. From the United States.
His post for CIMSEC on Tuesday said that the threat posed by land-based mobile cruise missiles such as Neptune “changes the operational behavior” of the enemy.
“Russian ships will work to reduce the risk of detection and increase the chances of defending themselves,” Lancaster wrote. “These behavioral changes restrict Russia’s ability to use its navy to its advantage. The extra stress of a sudden war increases fatigue and leads to error.”
According to Battler Professor Patalno: “Today the Russians seem to have learned it the hard way.”
In a CIMSEC post, Lancaster notes that the British Royal Navy lost several ships to missiles fired by Argentina during the 1982 Falklands War.
During that war, a British submarine sank the Argentine cruiser General Belgrano, a former World War II US Navy ship the size of Moscow.
Moscow also has a symbolic meaning for Ukraine because it is one of the ships involved Popular exchange on Snake IslandOleksi Arrestovich, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zhelensky, said in February.
According to an audio recording in late February, when the Russians approached the Ukrainian garrison on Snake Island, also known as Smini Island in the Black Sea, a Russian official said: “This is a Russian warship, a Russian military ship. I suggest you give up and surrender. Otherwise you will be bombed. “
A Ukrainian soldier replied: “Russian warship, leave.”
If Moscow disappears, it will be the second largest Russian naval ship to experience that fate during the Moscow war with Ukraine.
At the end of March, Ukraine claimed that the Russian landing ship in the port of Berdyansk had been destroyed by a missile attack.