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Russia says Black Sea flagship Moskva has sunk

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Russia's guided missile cruiser Moskva has sunk in the Black Sea after being damaged during the military operation in Ukraine, Russia's defence ministry said late Thursday.

“While being towed ... towards the destination 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,” the state news agency TASS quoted the ministry as saying.

The ministry had earlier said that the fire had been contained and that the ship could remain afloat. It had said it would look into the cause of the fire.

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The ministry had also said hundreds of crew members had been evacuated to other ships in the Black Sea.

Ukraine said the ship had been hit in a rocket attack.

Odessa military spokesman Sergey Bratchuk said the Moskva was damaged by “Neptune domestic cruise missiles,” in an account largely echoed by the regional governor.

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