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

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The Russian navy's Black Sea flagship, the cruiser Moskva, is seen in a satellite image off the coast of Crimea on April 10.
The Russian navy’s Black Sea flagship, the cruiser Moskva, is seen in a satellite tv for pc picture off the coast of Crimea on April 10. (Satellite tv for pc Picture © 2022 Maxar Applied sciences)

One of many Russian Navy’s most essential warships is both floating deserted or on the backside of the Black Sea, a large blow to a army struggling in opposition to Ukrainian resistance 50 days into Vladimir Putin’s invasion of his neighbor.

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

State media retailers TASS and RIA, citing the Russian Protection Ministry, stated the Moskva had been severely broken within the incident and that the reason for the hearth was being investigated. The Russian reviews gave no data on attainable casualties.

However hours earlier, a Ukrainian official claimed the Russian warship had been hit by cruise missiles fired from Ukraine.

Resulting from massive storms over the Black Sea obscuring satellite tv for pc imagery and sensory satellite tv for pc information, CNN has not been capable of visually affirm the ship has been hit or its present standing, however analysts famous {that a} hearth on board such a ship can result in a catastrophic explosion that would sink it.

Regardless of the motive for the hearth, the analysts say it strikes exhausting on the coronary heart of the Russian navy in addition to nationwide pleasure, akin to the US Navy shedding a battleship throughout World Struggle II or an plane provider at this time.

“Solely the lack of a ballistic missile submarine or the Kutznetsov (Russia’s lone plane provider) would inflict a extra critical blow to Russian morale and the navy’s fame with the Russian public,” stated Carl Schuster, a retired US Navy captain and former director of operations on the US Pacific Command’s Joint Intelligence Middle.

“Large blow”: Alessio Patalano, professor of conflict and technique at King’s School in London, stated shedding the warship could be a “huge blow” for Russia.

“Ships function away from public consideration and their actions are hardly ever the topic of reports. However they’re massive floating items of nationwide territory, and once you lose one, a flagship no much less, the political and symbolic message — along with the army loss — stands out exactly due to it,” he stated.

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