Relatives of the sailors who were onboard Russia’s Moskva have been seeking answers regarding missing family members after the sinking of the vessel last week. Moskva, a linchpin of its weeks-long extreme offensive in Ukraine, sank in the Black Sea on 14 April after being impaired by raging fire.
Ukraine said that the guided-missile cruiser was taken out in a missile attack, while Russia said that the fire was due to exploding ammunition and the ship sank in a storm while it was in the process of being towed to the nearby port.
As other family members and parents of sailors serving onboard the Moskva – which can carry up to 680 seamen – called for the truth, Russia’s authorities said the crew members had been evacuated – but provided no more details.
When asked to comment on the situation, Dmitry Peskov, Kremlin spokesman refused to share any updates. In recent times, many families have mentioned on social media platforms or in statements to independent foreign or Russian press that they cannot find their children who had been serving on the warship Moskva.
Dmitry Shkrebets said that Yegor, his conscript son, was employed as a cook on Moskva. He was listed as missing in action. He added that after he tried learning more, the cruiser commander and his deputy had reportedly gone incommunicado.
Shkrebets said on Monday that he had been keeping in touch with three other families whose conscripted sons had been missing following the Moskva’s sinking.
Meduza is an independent Russian news site. It referred to a source close to the Black Sea command and mentioned that 37 crew members of the Moskva had lost their lives.
Nearly 100 individuals were badly wounded, while the exact number of those who are missing is not known yet, the publication reported. About 500 individuals were on board when the 12,500-tonne Moskva was hit, Meduza mentioned, citing the source.
The Soviet-era Moskva was considered to be situated in the Black Sea somewhere off the port of Odesa in Ukraine during the fire. Previously, it was deployed in times of conflicts in Syria, Ukraine, and Georgia and helped conduct place-specific scientific research with the US.
The Moskva had reportedly been armed with several surface-to-air and anti-ship missiles. It was the only vessel of its class in the Black Sea. Russia’s two other missile cruisers – the Varyag and Marshal Ustinov – are empowered with Russia’s Pacific and Northern fleets respectively.