Russian dictator Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has not gone according to plan, with Fox News reporting earlier this month that his troops were forced to pull back from Kyiv.
Yet the defeats aren’t just happening on land: according to the Washington Examiner, an important Russian naval vessel sank on Thursday after an alleged Ukrainian missile strike.
Russian state news claims the sinking was caused by rough weather
The paper reported that Russia has admitted its Black Sea fleet flagship, the Moskva, went under while it was being towed to the port city of Sevastopol for repairs.
It cited a statement from the Russian state-owned news agency TASS as saying the Moskva sank due to ” the conditions of stormy seas.”
“During the towing of the cruiser Moskva to the port of destination, the ship lost its stability due to hull damage received during a fire from the detonation of ammunition,” the statement went on to assert.
Pentagon cannot confirm whether the missile sunk the ship
Meanwhile, the Examiner noted that Ukraine has asserted that the Moskva’s sinking was actually due to a missile strike launched by its forces.
For his part, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby was quoted as saying that while the vessel did sink and “a significant fire” was observed, the United States cannot confirm whether an attack was responsible.
“There’s lots of things that can explode on navy warships that can cause extensive, major damage,” Kirby pointed out. “Certainly, it could have been damage from external force, a missile or attack of some kind, torpedo, something like that.”
However, Kirby went on to point out that Thursday’s sinking could have been caused by “something that happened inside the skin of the ship.”
“The explosion was sizable enough we picked up indications that other naval vessels around her tried to come to her assistance eventually,” the former Navy admiral explained, adding, “That wasn’t apparently needed.”
The Moskva’s sinking comes even as Russian casualties in Ukraine continue to pile up. Fox News reported that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy drew attention to his enemy’s losses during a video address on Wednesday,
“How could a plan that provides for the death of tens of thousands of their own soldiers in a little more than a month of war come about?” Zelenskyy asked.