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Russia invades Ukraine, country braces for major Donbas offensive

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One of many Russian Navy’s most necessary warships is both floating deserted or on the backside of the Black Sea, an enormous blow to a navy 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 fireplace that detonated ammunition aboard, Russian state media reported Wednesday.

State media shops TASS and RIA, citing the Russian Protection Ministry, stated the Moskva had been significantly broken within the incident and that the reason for the fireplace was being investigated. The Russian stories gave no info on potential casualties.

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

Because of giant storms over the Black Sea obscuring satellite tv for pc imagery and sensory satellite tv for pc knowledge, CNN has not been in a position to 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 cause for the fireplace, the analysts say it strikes laborious on the coronary heart of the Russian navy in addition to nationwide pleasure, similar to the US Navy dropping a battleship throughout World Battle II or an plane provider at present.

“Solely the lack of a ballistic missile submarine or the Kutznetsov (Russia’s lone plane provider) would inflict a extra severe blow to Russian morale and the navy’s repute 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 warfare and technique at King’s School in London, stated dropping the warship could be a “large blow” for Russia.

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

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Russian navy evacuates flagship. Ukraine claims it was hit by a missile