VLADIMIR Putin has suffered yet another devastating loss after Ukraine claimed the captain of the doomed Moskva missile cruiser was killed during the strike in the Black Sea.
Ukraine has claimed the captain of a Russian warship that was sunk in the Black Sea died on board.
Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s ministry of internal affairs, shared the claim on Telegram saying that the ship’s captain, Anton Kuprin, died during an “explosion and fire on board”.
The Moskva went down as it was being towed to port in rough seas after an explosion of ammo caused a fire, according to the Kremlin.
First Rank Captain Anton Kuprin, 44, is said to have died after the lead Russian warship was fatally hit by Ukrainian Neptune missiles. Anton Gerashenko, adviser to the Kyiv interior ministry, said 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 but there is mounting speculation of reported deaths among the battleship.
Ukraine said it had hit the ship with Neptune missiles fired from the coast, but Russia did not confirm the attack.
However, the US later said it believes the vessel was hit by two Ukrainian Neptune anti-ship missiles.
A senior US official said the country believes there were Russian casualties, though the number of them remains unclear.
It is not yet known why the ship’s air defence systems did not kick in, the official said, but the missiles may have come at a high angle that evaded them or a drone may have distracted them, as some have reported.
Other possibilities are that the air defence systems were not turned or suffered maintenance problems, they said.
The crew of more than 500 were evacuated, said Russia’s defense ministry.
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