Russia’s Defense Ministry has confirmed in a statement that an ammunition tank of a Russian ship has exploded in the Black Sea. This is after Ukraine claimed to have attacked the ship.
A statement from Russian media quoted the media as saying that the fire had caused an explosion on the warship “Moscow”, adding that all the sailors had already left the ship.
“The munitions of the Moscow ship exploded as a result of the fire on the ship … the ship was severely damaged. All the crew have been evacuated. The cause of the fire is under investigation,” the statement said.
This statement makes no mention of the cause of the fire.
But the governor of Odessa in Ukraine has previously said that the ship, which commands Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, has been targeted by Ukrainian missiles and has been severely damaged.
Odessa Governor Maxim Marchenko said the Moscow ship was “severely damaged.”
Ukrainian presidential aide Alexei Arstovich also said Russian rescuers had been unable to reach the ship.
The ship may have up to 510 crew, he said.
On the first day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a small unit of Ukrainian troops on the island of Snake disobeyed the ship’s order to surrender and responded by saying, “Go to hell.”
Information about this cruiser
The Moscow cruiser was built in the early 1980s during the Soviet era.
This was the main ship of the former Soviet Navy Project 1164 Atlant. It was originally called “Slava”, but later changed its name to Moscow (Moscow).
The main weapons of this warship are anti-ship missiles (P-1000 Vulkan).
The cruiser, which became commander of the Black Sea Fleet in 2000, played a key role in Russia’s military operation in Syria, which began in 2015.
Archive photo of the ship Moscow
Biden agrees to $ 800 million in additional military aid to Ukraine
The new aid includes artillery, artillery vehicles, helicopters, as well as drones and radar systems.
Mr Biden said after talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelinsky that the United States would continue to provide defense assistance to Ukraine.
Pentagon officials say they are also working with allies to deliver weapons to Ukraine that are not in US stockpiles. The US government has so far provided more than $ 3 billion in military aid to Ukraine.
Zelensky: Russia must seek peace or leave the international community
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelinsky has said he must leave the international community if Russia does not seek a peace deal.
“Either the Russian leadership will really seek peace or, as a result of this war, Russia will leave the international arena forever,” he said in a video speech.
Commenting on the escalation of attacks in eastern and southern Ukraine, Mr Zelensky said: “All these activities of the occupiers are first and foremost a sign of their insecurity and also point to the fact that even with significant stockpiles of Soviet military equipment and a significant number of troops. “Russian troops are skeptical of their ability to defeat us, to defeat Ukraine.”
He has previously called on Western countries to send heavy weapons to Ukraine.
Mr Zelensky said the Freedom Front should be more armed than a dictatorship, and that Western countries had all the means to do so.
Russia seeks victory parade in Mariupol
On Wednesday, an official in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol said Russia probably planned to hold a victory parade in the city on May 9, the anniversary of the victory in World War II.
Mariupol city councilor Petro Andriushchenko said the Russian mayor, who has been appointed to areas under their control, has ordered that the city center be evacuated of rubble and corpses within four weeks.
Aerial photo of Mariupol under bombardment and siege for several weeks
Russia also announced that more than a thousand Ukrainian troops had surrendered in the besieged city of Mariupol. Reuters reports that flames have erupted from the Azostal industrial zone, which has become a defense base for Ukrainian forces.
Russian television broadcast footage of Ukrainian soldiers surrendering in the area.
However, an adviser to the Ukrainian president said that the resistance of Ukrainian forces in Mariupol continues.
Satellite imagery shows Russian forces re-energizing and moving east of Ukraine for a large-scale operation in the Donbas region.
Why is Mariupol important?
The port city of Mariupol has been under siege and heavily bombarded by Russian forces for the past few weeks, and there have been horrific reports of the situation of its inhabitants.
The fate of Mariupol, which is more likely to fall that day, is crucial in determining the next stage of the Russian war in Ukraine.
If Russia occupies the city, it will take control of areas that connect the two fronts of the Moscow war in southern and eastern Ukraine.
In addition, large numbers of Russian troops will be released to settle on other fronts, and politically for Russian President Vladimir Putin, a strategic victory will be achieved after failures in the early stages of the war.
For Ukraine, the loss of such a city would be a major blow to its leadership, which has described Mariupol as “the heart of the war.”
Ukraine: Withdrawal of civilians has become impossible
The Ukrainian government says the security situation in the war-torn region is so dire that there is currently no safe humanitarian passage for citizens to leave.
Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Irina Varshuk said that in the south of the country, near the city of Zaporozhye, Russian forces were blocking buses carrying Ukrainian citizens, and that the crossing from Mariupol to Berdyansk was blocked.
He said firearms had been violated in some areas in eastern Ukraine around Luhansk.
Mariupol is under siege and under heavy bombardment by Russia
According to Ms. Warschuk, the Russian occupiers not only violate international humanitarian law but also have no control over their forces on the battlefield.
Dmitry Gurin, a member of the Ukrainian parliament, also told the BBC that the bombing and shelling of the city of Mariupol was continuing unabated. According to Mr. Gorin, more than 100,000 civilians in this important port city are still under siege.
Ukraine reports on Russian casualties
Ukraine says Russian casualties have risen to about 20,000 in the past seven weeks.
Russia has lost 740 tanks, about 2,000 armored vehicles, 300 aircraft and 470 artillery units, according to Ukrainian figures, which it says are due to the ongoing war.
Charged with ‘genocide’
While diplomatic efforts to resolve the Ukraine crisis have failed, US President Joe Biden on Tuesday accused Russia for the first time of “genocide” in Ukraine.
He said Russian President Vladimir Putin was trying to eliminate even the notion of being Ukrainian. Referring to growing evidence of Russia’s “horrific” actions in Ukraine, the US president said he thought Russia was “committing genocide”.
The Kremlin condemned the remarks of US President Joe Biden. “We consider such attempts to distort reality unacceptable. Such a statement by the US president is unacceptable,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
Welcoming Biden’s remarks, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelinsky described them as “real words of real leadership.” Russia considers widespread evidence of its actions in Ukraine “fake.”