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Moskva: The Story of Russia’s Navy Warship That Ukraine Destroyed

Moskva Cruiser. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

No ‘Glory’ for the Moskva, Flagship of the Black Sea Fleet – On April 14, 2022, the Russian Navy’s guided-missile cruiser and the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet Moskva sank off the coast of the city of Odesa. Ukraine has said the ship was hit by two R-360 Neptune anti-ship missiles, while Russia has denied the claim, and stated that a fire broke out on the warship and that it sank in stormy seas.

Regardless of the reason, Moskva is the largest warship to be sunk in combat since the Second World War, and the largest loss of a military vessel since the Argentine Navy’s ARA General Belgrano (C-4) was torpedoed and sunk by the British nuclear-powered submarine HMS Conqueror (S48) during the Falklands War in May 1982.

She was also the largest Russian warship to even be damaged by enemy fire since 1941, when German dive bombers crippled the Soviet Navy’s battleship Marat in Kronshtadt Harbor.

Made in Ukraine

The lead vessel of the Project 1164 Atlant class, originally named Slava (Russian for “Glory”), was designed and built in the latter stages of the Cold War. The 11,500-ton cruiser was laid down at Shipyard 445 of the 61 Kommunara Shipbuilding Plant in Mykolaiv, Ukrainian SSR in 1976 and launched three years later.

Commissioned into the Soviet Navy in 1983, the guided-missile cruiser was used during the December 1989 “Malta Summit” between former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and then United States President George H.W. Bush. Anchored in Valetta Harbor from December 2-3, the warship served as the primary sleeping quarters and host location for the Soviet delegation, while the U.S. delegation operated from the United States Navy’s guided-missile cruiser USS Belknap (CG-26).

Due to stormy weather and choppy seas, which even resulted in some meetings being either rescheduled or canceled, the meeting of the world leaders earned moniker “Seasick Summit.”

Dissolution of the Soviet Union

A year after the summit – the first of several held between Bush and Gorbachev – Slava returned to Mykolaiv for a scheduled refit. However, it lasted nearly a decade due to the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Midway through the refit, on May 15, 1995, the guided-missile cruiser was named Moskva in honor of the Russian capital of Moscow.

She was recommissioned in the Russian Navy in April 2000, and replaced the Kynda-class cruiser Admiral Golovko as the flagship and even pride of the Russian Black Sea Fleet. In recent years, she had become a symbol of Russia’s dominance in the region, and Russian President Vladimir Putin had also held meetings on board the warship with world leaders.

Moskva had briefly taken part in a blockade of the Ukrainian navy in March 2014 as part of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, and a year later took part in Russia’s military operation in Syria, providing air defense for Russian forces in the region.


“Moskva” (“Moscow”) (ex-“Slava”, which means “Glory”) is the lead ship of the Project 1164 Atlant class of guided missile cruisers in the Russian Navy. This warship was used in the 2008 Russia-Georgia War. The Black Sea. Sevastopol bay. This photo was taken from a boat.

In 2018, the guided-missile cruiser was taken into the dock for scheduled repairs and returned to service in September 2020.

The warship had been armed with sixteen Vulcan anti-ship cruise missiles with a range of at least 700 km (440 miles), and was also equipped with a version of an S-300 anti-aircraft system.

Russia’s former top navy commander Viktor Kravchenko had described Moskva as “the most serious ship in the Black Sea.”

Key Role in Attack on Ukraine

The 510-crew warship had led Russia’s naval assault on Ukraine, which made it an important symbolic and military target, the BBC reported. The warship had already gained notoriety after calling on Ukrainian border troops defending Snake Island in the Black Seat to surrender – to which they infamously replied over the radio a refusal that loosely translated to “go f**K yourself.”

Neptune Anti-Ship Missile

Neptune Anti-Ship Missile. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

Now a Senior Editor for 1945, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers and websites. He regularly writes about military hardware, and is the author of several books on military headgear including A Gallery of Military Headdress, which is available on Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes.

Written By

Expert Biography: A Senior Editor for 1945, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,000 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.



  1. CK

    April 21, 2022 at 12:24 pm

    OK, guys, I hate to be the one to say it, but this is like the 4th article now on this, and every single one of them covers almost the exact same ground.

    How can you possibly expect poor Alex to keep up with all this?

    Oh, I get it… sorry, good job!

  2. Alex

    April 21, 2022 at 11:17 pm

    As I wrote earlier, this cruiser could be sunk by missiles using guidance from the American Orion satellite, as a respected American military expert says. But on the other hand, he also says that this is not the only version, but the fact that now the propaganda media of Ukraine and the United States and Britain will shout for a long time that it was precisely the missiles and the Bandera Nazis did everything themselves is undoubtedly. The spirit of the Armed Forces of Ukraine is so low that they surrender by the thousands, and by the case of desertion – by the thousands. However, even a huge number of articles about the “victory” over the cruiser could not achieve an effect: the remnants of the military of the Armed Forces of Ukraine surrender and run away from the army. That’s all the facts.

  3. CK

    April 22, 2022 at 5:38 am

    I know Alex, it was Soros that sank it, you’ve said it before. I also have it on good authority the Little Mermaid had a hand in it too.

  4. Alex

    April 23, 2022 at 9:41 am

    The official version is an emergency situation. But there is a version from Western analysts and they are in solidarity that these were not Neptune rockets – they are just old Soviet rubbish. Here is their version:

    The cruiser was in the Odessa region, closer to Romania. A new phased array locator was installed on it a year ago, the illumination range is 500 km. Why was he there? Ukrainian planes flew to the airfield in Romania, and from there they took off towards the sea, made a detour, and from the Odessa side went ashore, then flew to Dnepropetrovsk and Zaporozhye, and struck at the Russian troops. All the airfield, in the area of ​​​​Nikolaev and Odessa, were broken, and they could not understand where? Therefore, they drove Moscow with a powerful locator. It began to shine, and from the airfields of the Crimea and from near Donetsk, our Su 35 crests began to be intercepted, so 9 MiGs and Sushki were shot down. All this was calculated by NATO. First, the cruiser was hit by a drone, the radars and antennas were broken. The cruiser shot down one But already half blind. Then Khokhols launched 2 Neptune cruise missiles from the shore. Guidance was carried out by NATO Orion, which hovered over Romania, he also turned on the electronic warfare, and lit up the cruiser’s air defense detection station. The missiles went to the ship, with the homing heads turned off so that the ship would not detect the radiation beam, the guidance was carried out by NATO Orion. By transmitting the exact coordinates of the ship to the missiles. The result was 2 hits, ammunition detonation, and the cruiser began to sink.
    The Moskva cruiser, in addition to its main purpose – the destruction of KUG and AUG, is capable of providing long-range air defense for a shipborne strike group with the S-300F Fort complex, at a range of detecting air targets up to 300 km.
    The cruiser was assigned the following task: Combat duty 100-120 km from Odessa in order to control the airspace within a radius of 250-300 km. That. ensure that the southern half of Moldova, the space from Izmail to Odessa and part of the territory of Romania (including the port of Constanta) is covered with its location field.
    “Moscow” greatly interfered with the covert transfer of military aircraft (helicopters and planes) from the territory of Romania to the territory of Ukraine.
    The cruiser was monitored by NATO air reconnaissance.
    The destruction of the flagship of the fleet was planned as a strategic task
    Therefore, the operation of delivering anti-ship missiles to Odessa took place in strict secrecy and under the cover of electronic warfare.
    RCC was chosen as the “killer” of the cruiser, but not “Neptune” – as Ukrainian propaganda spreads, but
    RCC of the fifth generation NSM (Naval Strike Missile, range – 185 km, developed by Norway-USA.
    This type of RCC was chosen from the need to achieve a 100% result
    NSM is able to reach the target along the programmed route thanks to the INS with GPS correction, to independently find the target, flying up to it at a height of 3-5 meters. When reaching the target, the NSM maneuvers and puts electronic interference. A highly sensitive thermal imager is used as a homing system, which independently determines the most vulnerable spots of the target ship.
    A stationary container installation, secretly delivered to Ukraine, was used as a launcher. Thus,
    after the damage to the cruiser Moskva, which led to its sinking, NATO reopened an air corridor for the transfer of aircraft to the airfields of the Chernivtsi, Transcarpathian and Ivano-Frankivsk regions.
    After the destruction of the cruiser Moskva, the Black Sea Fleet unfortunately no longer has a single ship with a long-range anti-aircraft missile system.

    However, a three-band Nebo-M radar station is located in Crimea, which is capable of tracking all air targets at a distance of up to 600 km. This radar controls the sky to the city of Chernivtsi.

  5. CK

    April 23, 2022 at 1:44 pm

    You see? Another classic Russian propaganda tactic. Just fill the internet and the airwaves with noise – lies, truth, deception, half-truths, the truth, doesn’t matter. Overwhelm people with information, numbers, statistics, arguments, claims, etc. Although preferably most if not all should be untruths.

    If anyone knows Alex, you know well the falsehoods he peddles, and the entire mines of salt you need to take his words with.

    Also, it’s strange Alex – in the other thread, you said NATO and the West can’t do anything, and here you directly contradict yourself, saying they sank or were directly involved in sinking your flagship.

    You see the lies? The contradictions? So transparent and as see-through as Sveta’s working attire.

    Pick a lie and stick to it at least.

  6. Alex

    April 24, 2022 at 4:42 am

    Another US military analyst openly laughed at the suggestion that the cruiser was sunk by Neptune missiles: “It’s as ridiculous as having an admiral in the non-existent fleet of Ukraine,” he concluded.

  7. CK

    April 24, 2022 at 6:20 am

    Yes, and imagine how ridiculous it is to lose your Black Sea Flagship, in a land war, against a country with no navy (and no admiral, as you ut it) – humiliating.

  8. Alex

    April 25, 2022 at 10:43 am

    Yes, Russia has big “problems”:
    There is the Donetsk People’s Republic. There is the Luhansk People’s Republic. Kherson applied to Russia for a referendum to establish the Kherson People’s Republic. God bless the Ukrainians of Donbass!

  9. CK

    April 25, 2022 at 10:58 am

    Yes Alex, and Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania also re-applied to join the Russian Federation. In this reality, Putin has conquered his hemorrhoids, and you and Sveta live happily ever after.

    It’s nice to sit back and daydream, isn’t it? 🙂

  10. Alex

    April 26, 2022 at 2:14 am

    Why is Russia with the people’s militia of Donbass taking new territories of Ukraine every day? Let’s figure it out:

    The West failed to turn much of the world against Russia after the military operation in Ukraine began, columnist Howard French wrote in an article for Foreign Policy magazine.
    According to him, many states did not support sanctions against Moscow, including such large countries as India and China.

    “In fact, when counting the population of these countries, it becomes clear that the states representing the majority of humanity have not taken a position in this conflict, seeing in it the familiar echoes of the former rivalry between East and West,” said French.
    According to the observer, the international political system that took shape at the beginning of the twentieth century from the very beginning gave the countries of the “third world” the status of second-class states. As an example, he cited the colonization of Africa by European countries.

    “It was the work of the enslaved millions of people who grew sugar and cotton in huge quantities, cleared the land and did all other unpaid work that made the American colonies profitable for Europe, and the so-called “Old World” new and rich,” the author emphasized.

    French urged not to ignore the heightened sense of justice among the former colonized peoples.

    “The whole world” with Ukraine 🙂

  11. CK

    April 26, 2022 at 7:27 am

    All the lying in the world can’t protect you when two Neptune missiles are coming your way. Take it from the Moskva.

  12. Alex

    April 29, 2022 at 9:27 am

    If someone wants to know the truth about the civil war in the Donbass, about all the atrocities of the Bandera clean-ups and why Russia was forced to intervene, then it is better to watch films by independent journalists. There are already many such journalists who fight for truth and freedom. For example, a documentary by the German journalist Wilhelm Domcke-Schulz.

    A documentary film about the war crimes of the Bandera Nazis during the period of Russia’s special military operation to denazify and demilitarize Ukraine is in production. It will be a real information bomb, where the war crimes of Bandera Nazis will be shown and proved.

    The documentary “Remember Odessa” tells how the Bandera Nazis burned Ukrainians alive and other heinous war crimes.

    The documentary “To Live and Die in Donbass” tries to fill this gaping information gap in the West. He looks into the tormented soul of the inhabitants of Donbass, who really want only one thing – to live self-determining according to their own rules and values. Not submitting to foreign forces and ideologies.

    In the east of Ukraine, in the Donbass, a war has been raging since the beginning of 2014. A civil war that claimed more than 15,000 lives over the years, including several hundred children. They had to die, because the national-fascist coup government in Kyiv, funded by the West, trained and militarily heavily armed, would not tolerate any resistance to their illegitimate rule, no matter the cost.

    Therefore, in April 2014, the putschists deployed the Ukrainian army, supported by dozens of right-wing extremist volunteer battalions, and have since bombed city centers, residential areas, schools, hospitals and infrastructure, killing civilians.

    This perennial crime has gone completely unnoticed by the Western public. Politicians and the media avoid this topic and reports about how the devil pours holy water. Because a public discussion about the crimes of the Ukrainian regime would reveal only one thing – with what mass murderers and terrorists the so-called “west of values” in Ukraine has a common language, if only to defend their goals and interests.

    Lend-lease is a commodity loan, and not cheap: for all the ammunition, equipment and food supplied by the United States, many future generations of Ukrainian citizens will pay. Zelensky is driving the country into a debt hole.

  13. CK

    April 29, 2022 at 2:11 pm

    Ah, I see your tactic. You add a little shitty first paragraph so it doesn’t detect your duplicate post. Is this what it has come to now, you just posting the same exact post 2, 3, 4, 5 times per article?

    Wow, did they run out of paper in Russia, Alex? You guys can’t print new material? Literally using the same lines, over and over again, and now in duplicate in every post!

    Are you so defeated you can’t even come up with anything new? How sad. Now the idiot is talking about lend-lease at the end of his post, because he literally just copy + pasted it from another thread, with zero relevance to this one.

    Here’s a reminder:

    If someone wanted to know the truth about anything in Ukraine Alex, the last person they would go to is you.

    Paragraphs and paragraphs of bollocks, dubious claims about “independent journalists”, random documentarians, conspiracy theorists, deluded claims that of course, have no backup, lie after lie after lie.

    Classical Kremlin troll approach. Just flood the internet, the comments, the media, with tosh, doesn’t matter what it is, just make sure you write some old nonsense. Make sure to say the claim is supported by some dude in Germany, France, the states. If it’s a “documentary” (usually from youtube) then the better.

    Anything that victimises Russia, always the victim, always the bullied, never the problem. It’s always the Nazis. It’s always some pseudo-historical point.

    Anyone that has had the misfortune to study your “tactics” sees the forest for the trees, the pattern of lies, disinformation, blanketing of random claims, deflection, obfuscation, and other words beyond your vocabulary.

    It’s hopeless Alex. Your lies are as short as your intellect. What a pathetic job, to sit in your government shed, spreading your pathetic, government lies.

    A pathetic job for a truly pathetic man. A better match could not be made in heaven.

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