The flagship of the Russian navy’s Black Sea fleet, the Moskva, sunk on Thursday, hours after Ukrainian forces claimed to have carried out missile strikes on the ship.

The sinking of the Moskva, according to Kyiv Independent journalist Illia Ponomarenko, marked Russia’s first loss of a flagship in over a century, with the last loss coming during the Russia-Japan war of 1904-1905.

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The Russian defence ministry also confirmed that the Moskva had sunk on Thursday, but attributed the ship’s fate to “stormy seas,” not Ukrainian attacks. The ministry had earlier said that the Moskva had caught fire due to ammunition blowing up on board the ship.

“The cruiser ship Moskva lost its stability when it was towed to the port because of the damage to the ship’s hull that it received during the fire from the detonation of ammunition. In stormy sea conditions, the ship sank,” the Russian defence ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

The confirmation of the Moskva’s demise came hours after Odessa governor Maksym Marchenko claimed that Ukrainian Neptune missiles had struck the Moskva.

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“Glory to Ukraine! Neptune missiles guarding the Black Sea caused very serious damage to the Russian ship,” AFP quoted the triumphant Marchenko as saying late on Wednesday.

As reports of the Ukrainian attack started circulating, Russia refused to comment directly on the fate of the Moskva, but acknowledged that ship had taken damage: Russia’s defence ministry had said that the flagship of the Black Sea fleet “remains afloat,” while Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov flat out refused to answer questions, telling media, “This is a topic for the Ministry of Defence, I can’t say anything.”