April 19, 2022

Less than Ship Shape


Less than Ship Shape
The cruiser Moskva in happier times. Wikimedia Commons, George Chernilevsky.

Last week, Russia lost a massive asset in its fight against Ukraine: the cruiser Moskva (Moscow).

Reports surfaced on April 14 that two native-produced Ukrainian anti-ship missiles had hit the Moskva, causing an extensive fire and endangering the lives of nearly 700 on board. Russian forces attempted to tow the ship to safety, but it soon sank due to the damage.

Russian forces, on the other hand, have claimed that footage portrays instead an accidental munitions fire. They admit that the ship sunk, but deny that there were any casualties.

If the Ukrainian story is correct, the Moskva is the world's largest warship to sink since 1982, when a British craft was lost in the Falklands War. It was the largest and strongest craft in the region, and was the flagship of the Black Sea fleet.

Once a symbol of Russian naval power, Moskva has now become a symbol of competing information narratives, as the stories of its sinking continue to conflict.

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