Russia Claims Only One Death from Moskva Sinking – On Friday, the Russian Defense Ministry claimed that just one serviceman died in the sinking of its flagship Moskva in the Black Sea. The ministry said that an additional 27 people are missing, and 396 were rescued.
Russia still insists that the sinking was caused by a munition explosion set off by a fire that started inside of the ship. Ukraine took credit for the sinking and revealed that the ship was hit by two Neptune missiles.
The Kremlin also claimed that the fire was caused by “heavy storms” and that all crew members were evacuated from the ship.
The statement comes a week after the ship, which recently underwent maintenance and refurbishment that would ensure it remains in service until 2040, sank in the Black Sea. It was not just a symbolic defeat for Russia but also set back Russian forces relying on the ship for support in the south of Ukraine.
Other Dispute Russia’s Numbers
Families of Russian soldiers deployed in Ukraine are publicly contradicting Russia’s claims about the official Moskva death county, insisting that their deployed family members personally know of dozens of people who died on the Russian flagship.
One mother told the Novaya Gazeta Europe newspaper that her son, who survived the attack, told her that at least 40 people died and many more were wounded or missing. The newspaper also said that it had reviewed documents showing that the woman’s son served in the navy, giving some legitimacy to her claims.
“There are dead, there are wounded, there are missing. My son called me when they were given phones. They left their documents and phones on the ship. He calls me and cries from what he saw. It was scary. It is clear that not everyone survived,” the woman told the newspaper on the condition of anonymity.
Radio Liberty also shared a post in “Odnoklassniki” that was dedicated to a 41-year-old midshipman named Ivan Vakhrushev who served as an electrical engineer on the ship. The wife of Vakhrushev, Varvara Vakhrusheva, confirmed to Radio Liberty that her husband had died in the attack on the Moskva. She also said that her husband’s death was confirmed to her on April 14 by the “command.”
The evidence seems to suggest that Russia is purposely withholding the true numbers of casualties and deaths caused by the Ukrainian attack.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.