By Nightvision for the Saker Blog

I didn’t plan on covering the Moskva anymore, as I like many want to move on past that topic. But since the unexpected release of the only known images of the stricken cruiser, there are a few things that must be stated for the record, simply because I see no one else in the resistance sphere stating them, and certainly they will be covered up on the other side, as everything the other side sees merely adds to their own delusions and selective biases, reaffirming their already-held (false) and propagandized beliefs. I will try to make it as concise/short as possible. First the main photo of the cruiser:

This image was taken and leaked from aboard the Turkish ship that answered the SOS call and helped rescue some of the sailors:

Upon cursory glance, this seems like a typical/likely missile strike. Center midships hit, portside list of ship, burn/explosion marks, etc, etc. However there’s a few major problems that few are discussing. Now keep in mind, I’m no naval expert but know enough to talk with some authority on certain things.

Firstly, the burn marks you see along the portside hull are clearly smoke/fume exhalation points along the ports which dot the hull. The larger burn marks which are slightly lower on the hull are actually where the ship has larger ports for torpedo tubes (special kind of torpedo that slides out and drops into the water). This can clearly be seen in a reference photo of the ship.

Click this link to zoom in on the high quality image:

You see the red circles? Those are the lower / larger torpedo tube ports. They would have a larger amount of black fumes due to the presumable much more intense fire coming out of them if the torpedoes inside exploded or were on fire, etc.

So the first thing to get out of the way is, none of those black marks on the ship appear to be from any missile hits, they are merely the ports and torpedo slots emitting fire from the inside of the ship and burning/blackening the hull around them. You can see the red circles line up from both before and after images of the ship.

In the photo of the damaged ship, the large red circle clearly implies the area where a missile might have hit, as there is a lot of blackened areas there. But there is no clear sign of destruction, the blackened area appears to be roughly similar to the torpedo tube hole on the far right in the smaller red circle. In that center area there are ammunition departments plus power plant, so clearly an explosion from inside could have happened.

Here’s when the Sheffield was hit in the Falklands War You can see the damage on the side.

And here’s some images of the USS Stark when it was hit by an Iraqi plane with an Exocet missile. Keep in mind both HMS Sheffield and Stark were hit by Exocets, and this missile is similar in size to the Neptune that Ukraine alleged to have used.

The difference is quite clear that there is massive damage seen, with an eruption outward of the metal after the explosion. No such damage is seen on the Moskva, only intense burn marks that are also visible from every porthole along the hull going aft.

Now one could argue that a large hole is perhaps hidden by the water as the ship is clearly listed heavily to the port side. But I think we would still see the top of the hole much more clearly because these sea-skimming missiles do skim the sea at about 50ft then drop a little lower at terminal phase, BUT they don’t drop THAT low where they’re literally on the water line. As you can see from the Sheffield and Stark hits, they still hit the hull at roughly 15-20ft up above water, not at mere inches above the water. They can’t be programmed to go TOO low on account of waves, otherwise they might strike a wave in stormy seas and be a wasted missile.

But these things are debatable so far. Here are some even more interesting things.

1. Firstly it has been noted by experts that in the Moskva photos, ALL life boats are missing which means they were deployed, which means already the Ukrainian side is caught in one lie because it means the sailors were in fact saved. The crane can even be seen in a sideward, non diametric position which means it was used to lower lifeboats to the water.

2. Now here’s some very interesting things. The last known satellite photos of the Moskva show it oriented with bow facing south/southeast, and its portside facing east.

This photo is from 2300 hours of April 12, the Moskva was hit some hours later the next day. The Moskva was supposedly stationary like many of the Russian frigates in this region. It would be impossible for Ukrainian missiles coming from the direction of Odessa NW to hit the portside which is here facing east.

Here’s another source of the last known photos of the ship.

Note the direction of Odessa and where the missiles would come from, then note the orientation of the ship and its later-to-be-damaged portside.

3. Now here’s where it gets even more interesting. The green circle on the original photo I posted shows the fire-control radar of the ship

This radar has been noted by naval experts to be in the ‘standby’ or neutral rearward facing position. You can check hundreds of photos/videos of the Moskva in transit on the internet, and the radar always faces rearward. But when it engages a target, it pivots and orients towards the target. So this suggests that during the hit of the Moskva, the fire control radar was not engaging any targets. Of course western ‘analysts’ say this means the Moskva was struck blind by their wunderwaffen stealth missiles and never saw them coming.

But, there’s a major problem with that theory:

4. Their own story is in fact that the Moskva was “distracted” by multiple TB2 drones used as decoys, which the Moskva was targeting as it failed to notice the magical Neptune missiles broadside it. Here’s a graphic from their own tall tale:

You notice something I circled in red on their own graphic? They themselves are showing the fire-control radar pointing in the direction of the phantom TB2’s in this hypothetical mockup. That means according to their own theory, in order to have successfully ‘distracted’ the Moskva as they claim, the fire-control radar dome MUST have been kept busy by the TB2’s, yet clearly it remained in the standby peacetime position.

Using logic, no matter how you explain it, the Ukrainian side must be lying in at least one part of their statement. Either no TB2s were used and in fact a “stealthy” Neptune just happened to hit the Moskva with zero warning or they were used to distract and the radar should have been tracking them. But then why would you believe the second part of their statement about the Neptunes being used when they clearly lied about the TB2 decoy usage as proven by the radar’s stock position?

And by the way, there is some chance one can possibly believe that a sea-skimming missile might bypass radar, but there is no chance a high flying TB2 (and multiple of them at that) will go undetected, and anyway they admitted they were detected because they were “distracting the Moskva” radar operators according to the official story.

Now consider the following:

  • If Ukraine really had the capability of using some Neptune missile to hit the Moskva, why would it only use 2 and allow the Moskva to still stay afloat for almost a whole day afterwards, being towed to base? Even in the photo the Moskva is cleared of crew and unprotected, why couldn’t Ukraine continue firing to finish it off in that moment of uncertainty?
  • And further, why couldn’t the magical TB2’s also rain down their own missiles on the now crippled and de-crewed cruiser to finish it off?
  • If TB2’s were in the air, where’s the footage? Ukraine loves posting any possible footage of their use, so how come there’s no glorious high-def footage of Neptune missiles slamming into the ship from the perspective of the TB2’s magnificent Canadian-manufactured cameras/optics?

It all boils down to this fact: that if Ukraine lied about even one part of the story, such as the TB2’s which clearly is the most debunked part of the tale, then why would any other part be believable? And the photo also proves they lied about the 450 dead sailors because we know every single lifeboat was deployed as not even one is visible on the ship, which clearly suggests the vast majority, if not all, of the sailors survived. (the sailors reappeared in footage yesterday, anyway) This strongly suggests that the entire ‘Neptune missile’ hoax is just that.

The damage does not quite look like massive Exocet-sized missile strikes which would have gutted the hull, it looks like intense fire burn marks pouring out of every port and torpedo slot due to some internal detonation that gutted the inside of the ship right at that midway point beneath the smokestacks where the engine room lies. And big surprise – this was exactly the Russian MOD’s original explanation.

So if it wasn’t a missile, what caused it then? I don’t want to speculate as that’s a whole other topic for another time or another person. All I will say is that Andrei Martynov had some good suggestions in his recent video, particularly the sabotage part. Considering the ship was stationed in Sevastopol with sailors who might have clear connections via family to the Ukrainian side of the conflict vis a vis Crimea, etc., there could have been a vindictive sailor apt to pay back Russia for Ukraine. And as Martynov said, setting something on fire and blowing it up in the internals of the ship would be extremely easy for someone in the know. After all, as I’ve posted before, it’s happened many times in other navies including recently for the U.S. when a disgruntled sailor completely destroyed the Bonhomme Richard with over $3 billion of damage.

Anyway, it’s still possible the Moskva was hit with missiles – I don’t discount anything. But look at the facts presented above and make up your own judgments.

Now onto the actual piece I intended to present today:

I wanted to do a quick ‘deep-dive’ on one of the current central topics in western circles around Ukraine, which is that the AFU is running out of ammo, particularly of the heavy variety – artillery shells and the like, which is by far the most important kind in a war; small arms fire won’t get you far as artillery continues to rule the battlefield, as it always has.

This CNN article states the U.S. is shipping 40,000 artillery rounds. Of course it can be assumed at least some of this load will be destroyed by Russian strikes, if not all of it.

The article says, “During some of the heavy earlier fighting, Ukrainian forces fired up to thousands of artillery rounds in a given day.”

This is easy to verify. The typical firing rate of various artillery systems can be anywhere from 3-10 rounds per minute (rpm). That means a single unit can fire anywhere between 180 to 600 shells in an hour.

Ukraine likely still has at least several hundred of various artillery systems if you count even the old towed-style soviet systems like D-30’s and such. So let’s just say (for quick argument’s sake) 200 units x 200 shells an hour = 40,000. This is already 40,000 shells in a single hour of firing (realistically this “hour of firing” can be spread out throughout the course of a day in let’s say 10 minute firing bursts, etc)

So clearly this demonstrates how rapidly such ammo stocks dwindle. These 40k shells sent by U.S. could be mere hours worth, or perhaps a few days at most if my hypothetical calculations overestimate the AFU shelling rates.

But it goes deeper than that. There are now questions about the fact that the massive arming campaign for Ukraine is depleting the stocks of all participating NATO countries.

“But President Joe Biden never planned for a war like this. The assumption was that Russia would quickly conquer much of the country, so the U.S. would be supporting a simmering, low-intensity Ukrainian insurgency. Instead, Ukraine’s successful resistance has led to an ongoing, high-intensity conventional fight, with prodigious consumption of munitions and intense attrition of key military assets.”

Funny how the logic here is reversed. We were told it was Russia that didn’t plan for a war like this, and it was Russia that would run out of ammo and supplies. But now they’re admitting that it was in fact the U.S. themselves who miscalculated and are running out…whoops! Add to that the way the article blithely treats Biden as the head of the Ukrainian state / war effort as if he’s the AFU Commander in Chief – totally normal. “But President Biden never planned for a war like this.” Who’s running this war anyway?

“Pentagon officials say that Kyiv is blowing through a week’s worth of deliveries of antitank munitions every day. It is also running short of usable aircraft as Russian airstrikes and combat losses take their toll. Ammunition has become scarce in Mariupol and other areas.”

“For the same reason, the war in Ukraine is a sobering preview of the problems the U.S. itself would face in a conflict against Russia or China. If forced to go to war in Eastern Europe or the Western Pacific, Washington would spend down its stockpiles of missiles, precision-guided munitions and other critical capabilities in days or weeks. It would probably suffer severe losses of tanks, planes, ships and other assets that are sophisticated, costly and hard to replace.”

Interesting! So it was actually the U.S. all along that had no stocks for war, not Russia.

In fact the Pentagon and MSM lied all along. Russia is by far the largest producer of armaments, shells, ammunition on earth, more than all NATO countries combined. The lie we were fed about Russia running out of fuel, ammo, food, etc., was laughable and seen through by any analyst with a brain from the beginning.

But more shocking revelations abound:

“In the world wars of the last century, America’s unmatched manufacturing base ultimately powered it to victory. But today, replenishing the free world’s arsenal might not be so easy.

American economic leadership is no longer based primarily on manufacturing. Shortages of machine tools, skilled labor and spare production capacity could slow a wartime rearmament effort. The U.S. can’t quickly scale up production of Stinger missiles for Ukraine, for example, because the workforce needed to do so no longer exists.”

And this bombshell: “American stockpiles of key weapons are smaller than one might imagine, partly because of production constraints and partly because most of the Pentagon’s roughly $750 billion budget goes to manpower, health care and things other than bullets and bombs.”

I’ve wrote multiple times now in previous SitReps the small inconvenient fact most people don’t know, that a huge portion of U.S.’s entire vaunted military budget goes just to the upkeep and maintenance of its system of 900+ global bases. That number of bases costs gargantuan, unprecedented amounts of funds to maintain and run.

Of course this is why the Pentagon has convened all the top arms makers for emergency meetings, presumably to discuss the issues of trying to ramp up production to fill dwindling draw down supplies.

But there are other sources that have echoed the sentiment that right now the U.S. lacks even the manufacturing capacity to reproduce many of these armaments in great quantities, like the stingers mentioned in the article. One third of all U.S. Javelin stockpiles have already been sent to Ukraine and have paid no dividends, and mostly fallen into the hands of RF forces.

And on top of that the arms producers are actually facing “supply chain issue” of critical components (like microchips etc), like the rest of the world, which is hampering their ability to ramp up production on any of these key units.

“The latest batch of U.S. military equipment has begun arriving in Ukraine, including: – 18 155mm howitzers – 11 Mi-17 helicopters – 200 armored personnel carriers – 300 Switchblade drones – 500 Javelin missiles – 10 counter-artillery radars.”

“For perspective: 500 Javelins will cover three to five days of fighting. 18 howitzers will account for maybe 3% of deployed field artillery. That many or more get lost in a week. The rate of assistance is a fraction of the rate of depletion.”

And on that note, we segue perfectly into today, where the major update is that Russia has ramped up its strikes drastically. Sources in Kiev state they are using 50% more aviation and large amounts of depots were struck overnight including in Lyvov near the Polish border.

“Fmr deputy of Verkhovna Rada, Ilya Kiva, citing his sources, reports that as a result of a missile strike on a facilty in #Lvov, a whole arsenal of foreign weapons and ammo was destroyed this morning. It was delivered from EU and was intended to be sent to the Kharkov direction.”

“Novorosinform REPORTED:Military Aid From #Europe is Destroyed, The Former Deputy of the Verkhovna Rada announced that an arsenal of Weapons and ammunition Delivered By the West to #Ukraine was destroyed by #Russian Missile strikes last night at the #Lviv Railstation.”

“1/2 The Russian Aerospace Forces launched a strike with high-precision missiles at the 124th Joint Logistics Support Center of the Logistics Forces Command of the Ukrainian troops in the Lviv region, the Russian Defense Ministry reports. 2/2 The logistics center and the large consignments of foreign weapons that were delivered to Ukraine from the United States and European countries over the past 6 days were destroyed.”

Footage of some of the Lyvov strikes:

So for all those people asking for days if/when/how/why about Russia destroying western shipments, there’s your answer, it just blew away a huge week’s worth of accumulated equipment on the Polish border, including many dead from the AFU which are even reported on Ukr channels.

And so this brings us to the last point: there are many indications that Phase 2 Offensive may have begun today. There is a huge uptick in fighting all along every frontline along with these new strikes. There are huge gains being reported hourly around Izyum direction and on the southern front, west of Donetsk. It’s too early to say definitively if it’s begun or just the early preparatory work but so far it’s right on time with what many have been saying, which is that Phase 2 would begin early this week.

I’ll leave the specific updates for the next report, so as to let them accumulate as it’s still early. But I’ll mention a few general things.

There are huge smoke plumes coming off of Azovstal and Wargonzo reports RF elements are storming from the north and have already captured the northern part of the Azovstal industrial complex

In the now intense battles in the north (near Izyum), our side reports that the AFU is throwing everything they have into the battle, not only multiple new planes shot down which means they’re desperately using the last of their aviation, but entire units have been completely wiped out and captured. And from the new captures it’s discovered many of them are from cities in the far West which means these are already the mobilized reserves sent to stop the Russian advances.

Also reports state many of the newly captured are of extremely low morale as they are no longer putting up much resistance. One report said when previously they would attempt to fight out of encirclement, now they are laying down their arms immediately at the first sign of encirclement and not even bothering to fight. There are so many new surrenders I can barely even keep track anymore and post all the videos, and this includes many new graphic ones of destroyed units.

Good map of one of the advances in the north (there’s at least 7+ more village captured apart from this one)

Meanwhile Chechens and others continue to do clean up on the Illych factory: (18+ video)

Tons more prisoners are caught and processed:

And eliminated (18+)

The two British merc prisoners have now begged Boris Johnson to be exchanged:


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