50 days since Russia’s invasion began, the war in Ukraine is entering a pivotal new phase

The Russian navy’s Black Sea flagship, the cruiser Moskva, is viewed in a satellite image off the coastline of Crimea on April 10. (Satellite Image © 2022 Maxar Technologies)

One particular of the Russian Navy’s most significant warships is both floating deserted or at the bottom of the Black Sea, a substantial blow to a armed forces battling towards Ukrainian resistance 50 times into Vladimir Putin’s invasion of his neighbor.

Russian sailors have evacuated the guided-missile cruiser Moskva, the flagship of its Black Sea fleet, immediately after a hearth that detonated ammunition aboard, Russian condition media noted Wednesday.

State media outlets TASS and RIA, citing the Russian Defense Ministry, explained the Moskva had been very seriously damaged in the incident and that the induce of the hearth was currently being investigated. The Russian stories gave no facts on achievable casualties.

But several hours before, a Ukrainian official claimed the Russian warship experienced been strike by cruise missiles fired from Ukraine.

Due to large storms about the Black Sea obscuring satellite imagery and sensory satellite knowledge, CNN has not been ready to visually verify the ship has been strike or its present-day position, but analysts noted that a hearth on board these kinds of a ship can direct to a catastrophic explosion that could sink it.

No matter what the purpose for the fire, the analysts say it strikes challenging at the heart of the Russian navy as nicely as countrywide pride, comparable to the US Navy dropping a battleship throughout Globe War II or an plane carrier now.

“Only the loss of a ballistic missile submarine or the Kutznetsov (Russia’s lone aircraft carrier) would inflict a a lot more critical blow to Russian morale and the navy’s standing with the Russian community,” said Carl Schuster, a retired US Navy captain and previous director of operations at the US Pacific Command’s Joint Intelligence Center.

“Significant blow”: Alessio Patalano, professor of war and system at King’s Faculty in London, stated losing the warship would be a “massive blow” for Russia.

“Ships run absent from public interest and their pursuits are seldom the topic of information. But they are substantial floating items of nationwide territory, and when you get rid of a person, a flagship no considerably less, the political and symbolic message — in addition to the army reduction — stands out exactly due to the fact of it,” he explained.

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Jaime Wan

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