Ukraine joked about taking out Russia’s Black Sea flagship Moskva, which is confirmed to have sunk. 

The official government Twitter account quipped “Russian warship, what are you sinking?” 

The vessel became famous after Snake Island soldiers took a defiant stand, saying “Russian warship go f**k yourself“. It became a rallying cry for Ukraine and even inspired a unique stamp, just as the warship remained a symbol of Russia’s military prowess, leading the naval assault on the neighbouring country.  

The sinking of Moskva marks the first time Russia has lost a flagship since the 1905 Battle of Tsushima where three Borodino-class battleships were sunk and one was captured.  

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Ukraine claims missile strikes hit the warship but a statement from the Russian defence ministry reads, “While being towed … towards the destined port, the vessel lost its balance due to damage sustained in the hull as fire broke out after ammunition exploded. Given the choppy seas, the vessel sank”, Russian news agency TASS reported. 

Ukrainian officials claim to have used the Neptune missile system, which was developed after Russia annexed Crimea, and the threat in the Black Sea increased. 

The Moskva was built in the Soviet era and entered service in the 1980s. This vessel was earlier deployed in the Syrian conflict to give Russian soldiers naval protection. In Ukraine, it was laid in the southern city of Mykolaiv. Russia’s flagship reportedly had 16 Vulkan anti-ship missiles and an assortment of anti-submarine and mine-torpedo weapons. 

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Ukraine’s victorious moment comes amid the country’s preparations for a renewed assault from the east. As per the Chechen chief Ramzan Kadyrov, Russian forces are focused on capturing points in Donbas and then attempting to take Kyiv. 

Western officials, too, have claimed that Ukraine’s reports are credible, noting that other Russian vessels have moved at least another 20 nautical miles away from the shore, as though to move out of range of the missiles.