Ukrainian forces hit the Russian flagship Moskva with two Neptune missiles in the Black Sea on Thursday, causing the vessel to sink the next day, the Pentagon said on Friday.
The determination was made based on the latest U.S. intelligence assessments, according to the Washington Post, and affirms what Ukrainian officials have said about there being a missile attack.
Russia's Defense Ministry said the Moskva, a missile cruiser that led the famous attack on Snake Island in the Black Sea at the start of the war with Ukraine, received damage on Wednesday to the hull during the fire from the detonation of ammunition, causing the crew of possibly hundreds to evacuate, but it has not given a cause for the blaze.
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Russia announced Thursday the vessel sank in "stormy seas" while being towed to port for repairs. There were likely casualties, a senior U.S. defense official told NPR.
Ukraine's military claimed the damage was caused by a missile barrage.
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"In the Black Sea operational zone, Neptune anti-ship cruise missiles hit the cruiser Moskva, the flagship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet — it received significant damage," Ukraine's Operational Command South said in a statement. "A fire broke out. Other units of the ship's group tried to help, but a storm and a powerful explosion of ammunition overturned the cruiser, and it began to sink."