Russia on Friday said that one crew member died and 27 went missing after the Moskva missile cruiser sank last week, Moscow’s first admission of the losses after the tragedy.
The flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet had been leading Russia’s naval effort in the nearly two-month conflict in Ukraine, playing a central role in the siege of the port city of Mariupol.
After the Moskva sank, parents and other family members of sailors who served aboard, including conscripts, took to social media, saying their children had gone missing and that they needed answers.
As per the statement released by the defence ministry, “As a result of a fire on April 13, the Moskva missile cruiser was seriously damaged due to the detonation of ammunition.”
“One(1) serviceman was killed, another 27 crew members went missing,” the ministry stated, adding that, “The remaining 396 members” had been evacuated.
The statement further added that, “The Russian defence ministry is providing all the required support and assistance to the families and friends of the deceased and the missing.”
It said that, “an absolute majority” of contract servicemen wished to continue their service abroad vessels of the Black Sea Fleet.
In recent days, a number of Russian parents called for the truth about their missing children, but the Kremlin had previously refused to reveal any details about casualties aboard the warship, which is able to carry up to 680 sailors.
Several families have mentioned in a statement that they cannot find their children who were serving on the Moskva.
One parent, Dmitry Shkrebets, said that when he tried to learn more about the fate of his missing son, the commander of the cruiser and his deputy had gone incommunicado.
As per Vladimir Putin’s spokesman said, “The Kremlin was not at liberty to disclose any details.