Ukrainian authorities claim that 510 people were on board the cruiser Moskva. The fact that only 14 people were rescued is reported by Roman Cymbaliuk, a journalist for the Ukrainian agency UNIAN, until recently its correspondent in Russia.
“On Thursday at around 10 a.m. (11 a.m. Polish time – ed.) 14 Russian sailors from the cruiser, including the head of the ship’s medical service, were evacuated to Sevastopol in occupied Crimea. The soldiers arrived at the wharf by motorboat, where ambulances were already waiting for them.” – Cymbaliuk added in a Facebook post.
A former deputy to the Russian State Duma, opposition activist Ilya Ponomaryov, provided different data. He wrote that of the 510 people who were on the sunken cruiser Moskva, only 58 were rescued.
Russian authorities are perfunctory about the sinking of the ship. They do not give the number of evacuated crew members. The information given by Tsymbaliuk and Ponomaryov cannot be confirmed by other independent sources.
The cruiser Moskva was the pride of Russia
The cruiser Moskva sank while being towed in storm conditions, the Russian Defense Ministry said Thursday evening. Earlier, the Ukrainian army reported that the ship was hit by two Neptune cruise missiles. Moscow did not confirm these reports, saying that there was “a fire” on the vessel.
The Moskva was the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet and one of Russia’s most important warships.
Only the loss of a submarine capable of launching ballistic missiles or the Kuznetsov (Russia’s only aircraft carrier) would be a greater blow to Russian morale and the Navy’s reputation in Russian society
assessed retired U.S. Navy Capt. Carl Schuster on Thursday, as quoted by CNN.
Roman Cymbaliuk was a correspondent of the UNIAN agency in Russia in 2008-2022. During his work in Moscow, he repeatedly experienced unfriendly actions from the Kremlin services – among others, in December 2021, Cymbaliuk was summoned for questioning on “inciting hatred against Russians”. In January, the journalist left Russia due to a “threat to personal safety.”