First Rank Captain Anton Kuprin, 44, is alleged to have died after the lead Russian warship was fatally hit by Ukrainian Neptune missiles. Anton Gerashenko, adviser to the Kyiv inside ministry, mentioned he “died during an explosion and fire on board the former flagship of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation”. The official added: “We do not mourn.” Russia claimed the crew was evacuated however there may be mounting hypothesis of reported deaths among the many battleship.
Former Russian politician Ilya Ponomarev, who in 2014 was the one MP to vote in opposition to Putin’s annexation of Crimea, mentioned he believes simply 58 out of a typical crew quantity of 510 survived the missile hit.
Russia has but to go public concerning the potential loss of life of Kuprin, however Moscow has additionally not introduced the deaths of many distinguished navy personnel for the reason that conflict in Ukraine started practically two months in the past.
The Moskva sank after an explosion and hearth that Ukraine claimed was attributable to a missile strike.
The Russian Defence Ministry didn’t make reference to this, and as a substitute mentioned: “While the cruiser ‘Moskva’ was being towed to the destination port, the ship lost stability due to damage to the hull from the fire.
“In the stormy sea situations, the ship sank.”
But there are also mounting fears among Ukrainian sources there were several nuclear missiles onboard the vessel which sank off Sevastopol.
BlackSeaNews editor-in-chief Andriy Klymenko said: “Friends and specialists say that there are two nuclear warheads for cruise missiles on board the Moskva.
He requested: “Where are these warheads? Where were they when the ammunition exploded? Where is the point on the map, the coordinates?
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“In particular, these are anti-ship missiles P-1000 ‘Vulkan’, of which the ship has 16 units.
“Each of them can be equipped with a nuclear warhead with a capacity of 350 kt or a conventional 500-kg high-explosive cumulative.
“This information is not a secret at all, because this cruiser is designed to destroy aircraft carrier strike groups.
“But the main issue is the placement of P-1000 missiles.
“That is, are nuclear munitions always on board, or are they loaded only by special order?”
The report continued: “Defense Express interviewed experts, including designers and naval officers, who unanimously and independently gave the following answer – there is a real possibility that the affected flagship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet could have had nuclear munitions on board.
“The fact is that the missile cruiser Moskva was part of the Black Sea Fleet’s forces of constant readiness.
“As such, after an order, it had to go out to sea in minimum time to perform combat missions.
“At the same time, the replacement of P-500/1000 missiles is far from a trivial task and …requires significant time.”