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Revealed: How Ukraine Used Neptune Missiles to Sink Russia’s Navy Flagship

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

More Details of “Moskva” Sinking Revealed: A report from Ukrainian Pravda reveals more details about the sinking of the Russian flagship, Moskva, in the Black Sea in April.

The sinking of the Russian ship was a pivotal moment in the Ukraine war and arguably paved the way for many Ukrainian advances that came soon after.

According to the report, the operators of the Moskva only had access to conventional radar – and no over-the-horizon radar signal – making it virtually impossible to see targets further away than 18km.

The operators, however, believed that the ship was still safe as it could not easily be seen from the sky or from the shore – and combined with the on-board air defense systems, Ukrainian forces didn’t seem to pose a threat.

According to a Ukrainian rocket scientist who played a part in the development of the Neptune anti-ship cruise missile, it was the “self-confidence” of the operators that ultimately led to the demise of the Moskva ship.

“They understood that they could not be seen from the sky, from the shore – too. Plus, they have very serious air defense systems on board and other protection systems. Therefore, they sailed 120 kilometers to the Ukrainian coast. And this self-confidence ruined them,” the scientist said.

Neptune Used Earlier Thank Moskva Sinking

The exclusive report also revealed that the use of the Neptune missile system in the sinking of the Moskva was not the first during the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

According to an unnamed official familiar with the use of Neptune by the Ukrainian military, the missile system was used in the first few days of the Russian invasion.

The first launches were from the south of the Odessa region, and shot in the direction of Nikolaev. Therefore, the missiles had to pass over Odessa and, in order for it to be safe for the city, they were launched not at an altitude of 5-6 meters above the water, as it should be, but somewhere at 120 meters,” the unnamed official said, adding that the Russians “spotted them and most likely destroyed them.”

See Incredible Newly-Released Image

A photograph also emerged in recent days showing the Neptune anti-ship cruise missile system that took down the Moskva ship in action. According to reports, the photograph shows one of two missiles that were fired at the ship.

“An image has emerged showing the RK-360MC Neptune anti-ship cruise missile system in operation, claimed to be against the the [sic] Russian guided missile cruiser Moskva in April. Two R-360 missiles were fired, sinking the ship,” Ukraine Weapons Tracker, a popular Twitter-based war-tracking account, explained.

It’s the first time that the image has been released, following initial silence from Ukraine over the attack.


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Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor.

Written By

Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive's Breaking News Editor. He 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.