Earlier today Ukrainian forces scored a hit on the Russian cruiser Moskva (Moscow) with domestically produced “Neptune” anti-ship missiles. The Neptune’s design is based on the old Soviet Kh-35 anti-ship missile with significantly improved electronics and range. It was developed by Luch Design Bureau and is manufactured in Ukraine.
Maxim Marchenko, head of the Odessa Regional State Administration, announced that Ukraine naval forces hit the Russian flagship inflicting heavy damage. In the first days of the Ukraine-Russia war the Moskva made the news when its captain demanded that Ukraine servicemen on Snake Island surrender to which they responded, “Russian ship – Go to hell!” [Others have erroneously translated this as “go **** yourself.”] Marchenko referred to this incident, which has taken on legendary status in Ukraine, in his comments – “…today the missile cruiser Moskva went exactly where our border guards on Snake Island sent it!”
Ukrainskaya Pravda reported that while the Ukraine Ministry of Defense has yet to officially confirm this claim, a source in Ukraine intelligence services confirmed the information. According to the source, four Russian navy support ships came to the assistance of the Moskva which may be floundering in a Black Sea storm. According to available information the Moskva has disappeared from radar and various other ships have arrived at its last known location. It is believed that a rescue operation is underway in an area twenty nautical miles from Snake Island. Ukraine President Zelensky’s Chief of Staff, Andriy Yermak, also indirectly confirmed this information.
Russian state media outlet, ROI Novosti, earlier today announced a press release from the Russian Ministry of Defense confirming that the Moskva was on fire due to the accidental detonation of ammunition on board the vessel. According to Russian sources, the crew of the stricken ship has been evacuated and causes of the explosion are being investigated.
One plus one equals two. Reading between the lines, the Russian Ministry of Defense has indeed confirmed that the Ukrainians have hit and seriously damaged the flagship of their Black Sea fleet. This may represent a game changing development in the battle for southern Ukraine, and control of the Black Sea which is critical to the success of any Russian operation that would seek to occupy the strategically important port city of Odessa. Add to this scenario the fact that the UK is in the process of delivering Harpoon anti-ship missiles to Ukraine – the Black Sea may turn in to a graveyard for Russian navy vessels in the same fashion that Ukrainian roads and highways are now glutted with charred heaps of scrap metal that were once proud Russian armored columns.