Russia said its Black Sea fleet flagship, the Moskva, sunk one day after a fire broke out onboard, which Ukrainian officials attributed to a missile strike.

The ship was being towed back to Sevastopol, the largest city on the Crimean Peninsula, for repairs on Thursday when it sank, according to CNN, which cited Russia’s Defense Ministry, though a missile strike was not mentioned as the cause of the damage.

“During the towing of the cruiser Moskva to the port of destination, the ship lost its stability due to hull damage received during a fire from the detonation of ammunition. In the conditions of stormy seas, the ship sank,” the statement said, according to TASS.


Russia said that a fire broke out on the cruiser, which ultimately caused munitions on board to explode, inflicting the damage to the vessel.

The Pentagon confirmed that there was a large fire on the ship Thursday, though it was not able to say definitively that Ukrainian forces were responsible for it.

“There’s lots of things that can explode on navy warships that can cause extensive, major damage. Certainly, it could have been damage from external force, a missile or attack of some kind, torpedo, something like that. It could also be something that happened inside the skin of ship,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said. “The explosion was sizable enough we picked up indications that other naval vessels around her tried to come to her assistance eventually. That wasn’t apparently needed.”


Kirby also said that the Pentagon assessed “a significant fire” was raging as of Thursday morning, while a senior defense official noted that other Russian ships in the Black Sea retreated further south away from the coast.

You Might Like
Learn more about RevenueStripe...