According to Russia’s Defense Ministry on Thursday:
Russia’s missile cruiser Moskva sustained “serious damage” from a Wednesday night ammunition explosion caused by fire onboard.
As a result, the vessel’s entire crew was evacuated.
Cause of what happened is being investigated.
Launched in 1979, the Atlant-class warship reportedly had 16 anti-ship and many other air defense missiles on board.
The Black Sea vessel has been involved in Russia’s special military operation since begun on Feb. 24.
According to Kiev, two Ukrainian anti-ship missiles struck the vessels — no evidence cited to support the claim.
In early March, Ukrainian propaganda falsely claimed that its military sank Russia’s Vasily Bykov patrol ship.
Days later, it was observed in Sevastopol undamaged.
Nothing claimed by US/Western regimes and Kiev can be accepted at face value.
According to military expert Andrei Martyanov:
All that’s known so far about the Moskva incident is the “fire and detonation of the ammo” on board, as confirmed by Russia’s Defense Ministry, adding:
The ship’s “ammo cellar…is ‘wrapped’ in armored shell.”
Its “16 anti-shipping missiles Vulkan are stored in separate armored containers located in groups of 2 x 4 on each side of the ship and they cannot ‘detonate’ that easily.”
Nor can other missiles onboard “which are also stored in revolver type containers.”
At this time, it’s too soon “to speculate (about) what went wrong.”
If the vessel wasn’t struck by “Ukie missiles, the only thing which comes to mind is either internal sabotage or even a possibility of a diversion from the outside by combat divers.”
Russia’s Defense Ministry will likely explain the cause of what happened after its probe into the incident is completed.
If hegemon USA and/or another NATO regime was involved, it remains to be seen how Russia will respond.
At the same time, the incident won’t change the outcome of its special military campaign, Martyanov stressed.
US/Western MSM will surely exploit it for propaganda value.
Voice of America propaganda quoted Odessa governor Marchenko, claiming:
“Neptune missiles guarding the Black Sea caused very serious damage to the Russian ship (sic). Glory to Ukraine!”
AP News headlined: “Ukraine says missiles hit Russian flagship, crew evacuates,” adding:
“Russia’s Defense Ministry confirmed the ship was damaged but not that it was hit by Ukraine — it said ammunition on board detonated as a result of a fire of as-yet undetermined causes.”
And this from the NYT:
“A Russian warship is ‘seriously damaged’ in the Black Sea. Conflicting explanations emerge.”
The Times admitted that while “Ukraine repeatedly claimed to have destroyed Russian warships (since its operation began, Kiev’s), reports have not always been independently verified.”
Its earlier reports were fake news, the Times failed to explain.
Reporting on the Moskva incident, the WSJ falsely claimed that Ukraine “successfully hit another Russian warship” earlier (sic).
It was fake news.
The BBC and other MSM reported similar misinformation and disinformation as part of daily Russia bashing.
Separately on Thursday — in response to several cross-border attacks by Ukraine’s military — Russia’s Defense Ministry spokesman General Igor Konashenkov said the following:
“We can see that Ukrainian forces are trying to conduct subversive activities and attack facilities in Russia.”
“If such activities continue, the Russian Armed Forces will carry out strikes on decision-making centers, including those in Kiev, which is what the Russian army has so far been refraining from doing.”
On Monday, Russia declared a heightened terrorism alert in three regions bordering Ukraine – Bryansk, Kursk and Belgorod.
Also in Krasnodar, Voronezh and Crimea.
On March 29, Ukrainian missiles containing banned cluster munitions fired cross-border reportedly injured eight Russian civilians and caused damage to vehicles and buildings.
Russia’s military operation was launched with defined objectives.
Key to achieving them is targeting all important Ukrainian sites, sparing none — not in Kiev or anywhere else in the country.
Instead of warning about striking “decision-making centers in Kiev,” Russia should have already eliminated them.
Avoiding this step so far should be rectified straightaway.
The same goes for halting natural gas supplies to unfriendly nations, ones unwilling to pay for them in rubles.
So far, Moscow said it refrained from taking this step so far — a sign of weakness when strength is needed.
Failure to enforce a payment policy renders it null and void.
It shows that Russian policy announcements can’t be taken seriously.
All-out US-led Western sanctions and proxy hot war on Russia is ongoing with no end of it in prospect.
Moscow’s only sensible option is to respond in similar fashion, what it hasn’t done so far.
Failure encourages Western regimes to pour on more of the same.
European countries are highly vulnerable.
Vitally in need of Russian oil, gas and other commodities, cutting them off will give their ruling regimes pause.
Halt their sanctions war, reverse ones imposed, restore pre-Feb 24 relations with Moscow, or risk the collapse of their economies for bowing to the will of their higher power in Washington.
If sustain enough pain with no sign of Russia reversing toughness, they’ll likely do what it takes to prevent economic collapse.
The objective of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine is to declare mission accomplished ahead.
The same goes for relations with European countries.
If their ruling regimes continue unprecedented sanctions war on Russia with no let-up, Moscow’s only no-nonsense option is responding in similar fashion — to give as much as it takes.