First, I want to point you to an excellent analysis by Bernhard at Moon of Alabama entitled “U.S. Military Intelligence Official Refutes ‘Russian Atrocities’ Claims“.
So we can now “officially consider” the Bucha false flag as an “official flop” :-)
Next, I want to point you to Andrei Martyanov‘s commentary on what happened to the missile cruiser Moskva he simply titled “About RKR Moskva“.
Please read both of these articles as I won’t report it here and I will assume that you have read them.
Here I will just add what Pentagon spokesman John Kirby officially declared about this incident:
“We know she suffered an explosion,” Kirby said in an interview on MSNBC. “It looks like — from the images that we have been able to look at — it looks like it was a pretty sizable explosion, too. We don’t know what caused that explosion.”
In an interview on CNN, Kirby said the explosion was “sizable enough.” According to him, US officials “picked up indications that other naval vessels around her tried to come to her assistance.” (emphasis added)
“Eventually, that wasn’t apparently needed, so she’s making her own way now across the Black Sea, and we’ll continue to try to monitor this as best we can. Certainly, it could have been damage from some external force, like a missile or an attack of some kind, a torpedo or something like that. But it could also be something that happens inside the skin of the ship — an engineering fire, a fuel fire. You just don’t know,” Kirby said.
It is a truly a very sad time when top US officials lie LESS than the “free and democratic” press!
Okay, I am not a naval person at all (being born in landlocked Switzerland did not help!) but I can make a few semi-educated guesses:
- The Ukronazis claim that they sunk the Moskva with two Neptune missiles. Wikipedia gives us two important technical details about this missile: its warhead is 150kg and its speed is subsonic which brings this specialized article to add “This missile travels at subsonic speed. It is estimated that due to its subsonic speed that anti-ship missile can be intercepted rather easily, especially by advanced defense system“. The Moskva displaces 12,490 tons, so I will assume that every person reading this will understand that 2x150kgb subsonic warheads are not enough to sink such a ship. Thus the “sunk by Neptunes” is highly unlikely.
- The electromagnetic space over the Ukrainian coast and the Black Sea is chock-full with signals from all the parties to the conflict. The launch of two Neptune ASM would have been instantly detected not only by the Russians (including the very powerful radars on the Moskva) but also by the USA/NATO yet Kirby said “We don’t know what caused that explosion”, did he not? Yes, he could be lying, but why bother when the morale-boosting lie would be to claim that it was a Ukrainian ASM hit? It seems that, like with Bucha, the US side is NOT endorsing the Ukronazi lies. I wonder why…
- Why was the Moskva evacuated? Simple, it was literally full of highly explosive munitions and fuel, so the crew was evacuated and the ship either towed back to Sevastopol or it had a skeleton crew which drove it back to port on its own power (I have heard both versions but Kirbys’ “she’s making her own way now” seems to point to the latter version ).
- The ship was clearly very seriously damaged which, according to Russian ex-navy posters on Telegram is probably due to two crucial factors: the ship is very old and it did not get a modern fire suppression system due to budgetary constrains and, possibly, mismanagement and fraud.
- Ships do burn, explode and sink. Anybody thinking that this is the result of Russian incompetence, vodka or poor design better read this first: “Navy ship destroyed by fire to be dismantled at Port of Brownsville“.
- Still, this is yet another PR disaster because the timing could not have been worse: not only is the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet unable to participate to the SMO, the Ukies now have a silly, but much repeated and morale-boosting fairy tale to spin, and it was picked up by most of the Western press (what else is new?). Yes, I know, the Ukies always lie, even about sinking Russian ships, but the braindead folks in Zone A have had an entire life long exposure to constant lies from their own “press” and they STILL read/watch it. Apparently they don’t mind being lied to.
- It is interesting that Kirby mentioned “torpedoes” since the (already non-existing) Ukie Navy does not have subs or surface ships to fire torpedoes. Make of it what you want. He did not mention or say Ukie mine by name, but just said “something like that”. We might want to keep that tidbit of info somewhere in the back of our minds.
- One more thing: the Moskva had very good, if rather old, air defenses. They were more than enough to deal with a couple of Ukrainian subsonic missiles, but we don’t know what the Ukies or the Romanians might have deployed on their coast. An air-launched missile is, in theory, also an option, but when we look at the kind of anti-shipping missiles and aircraft the Ukrainians, Romanians or even NATO or the US have, I did not find a combination which would make sense under these circumstances.
For these reasons I am inclined to believe the Russian version of a fire which put the entire ship at risk and which was eventually put out, but only after major damage to the Moskva. It was a quite beautiful ship and I hope it can be salvaged, but it was also objectively very old so maybe the money would be better spent on modern Russian Navy ships.
The only major doubt left to me is whether there were any lives lost in this fire. The Russians say that 500 sailors were safely evacuated, and if that is true, that means that if there were casualties they were not large numbers, but even a single loss of life is a tragedy and such a fire did represent a MAJOR risk for the Moskva and its crew and Russian sailors are known to be willing to sacrifice their lives to save their fellow sailors and their ship. So there could be casualties, possibly more than just a few, but probably/hopefully less than a dozen.
One more note: all night long Ukie-trolls were sending me emails and comments with stuff like “so how do you feel about our missiles sinking your flagship and drowning 500+ of your fellow Moskals?“. I want to let them all know that am deeply grateful for kind their concern and I want to reassure them that I am doing quite well, thank you :-P
Apparently, the “Ze” signed a decree authorizing Ukrainian forces to attack targets in Russia and there were a few minor attacks overnight. The Russian MoD has officially announced that if this continues Russian will attack the “decision making centers” including those in Kiev.
There is no doubt in my mind at all what this is all about. It is NOT “the invincible Ukrainian military about to invade Russia up to Moscow and even the Urals”. It is about “Ze” desperately wanting a high-visibility “Russian atrocity”, but this time in Kiev. I am confident that the Russian General Staff is acutely aware of this risk and will chose its target(s) with utmost caution and will use all intelligence sources – very much including HUMINT – in the process.
That’s it from me for right now.
PS: if you come across any RECENT (post fire!) photos of the Moskva, please post them in the comments and email them to me, thank you!
UPDATE 1: here is what the MoD officially reported so far:
The source of ignition on the cruiser “Moskva” is localized. There is no open fire. Explosions of ammunition have been stopped. The cruiser “Moskva” remains buoyant. The main missile armament was not damaged. The crew was evacuated to the ships of the Black Sea Fleet in the area. Measures are being taken to tow the cruiser to the port. The cause of the fire is being established.
UPDATE 2: according to the Telegram channel of RIA Novosti:
The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation reports that during the towing of the cruiser “Moscow” to the port of destination, due to damage to the hull received during the fire from the detonation of ammunition, the ship lost stability. In the conditions of stormy sea waves, the ship sank.
Comment by Andrei: if true, this saddens me, she is/was quite a beautiful ship. I also notice the “superb” performance of the Russian MoD information operations. When will the Russians get serious about the information war????