According to reports, Moscow sank in the Black Sea after being hit by two Ukrainian anti-ship missiles on April 13.
When asked by the Russian news agency TASS about the cause of the sinking, the Russian Defense Ministry said: “While being towed towards the port, the ship lost its balance. The hull was damaged by a fire that broke out after the ship was towed to the port. ammunition depot exploded. Due to rough seas, the ship sank”.
Moscow is currently working to recover the secrets from the ship in the hope of preventing crucial intelligence from falling into Ukraine’s hands, according to the report.
HI Sutton, a naval expert quoted by Forbes, said a flotilla of eight ships had been sent on a salvage mission.
He added that the team also includes the oldest ship in operation in the world, the Russian rescue ship Kommuna. The ship’s main function is to lift objects out of the water, raising doubts about what Moscow is trying to restore.
A senior US defense official earlier this week told reporters that Russia’s efforts were not aimed at “whole” recovery of the ship.
“Getting the whole ship out of the water would be extremely difficult. We don’t see any indication that Russia wants to do that,” the official said.
Therefore, experts say that Moscow wants to keep some top secret information private. Multiple reports indicate that it could be the onboard secret code, along with other cryptographic documents and logs.
It is also possible that the salvage team was tasked with finding some of the Russians killed in the sinking.
Forbes reported: “Several Russians were killed in the sinking. The Kremlin once released videos of survivors on the cruiser, but that was not enough, there were at least 500 people on board the Moskva. at the time it sank”.
Moscow has been tight-lipped about the number of Russian troops killed in Ukraine since the country launched a special military operation at the end of February. The last time Russia gave an official figure was at the end of March, although it did. Many people believe that this number is lower than it actually is.
The Pentagon denied reports that there could be nuclear weapons on board the Moskva at the time of the sinking. The official cited above again told reporters: “There was no indication that there were nuclear weapons on board the Moskva when it sank.”
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