04.14.22 01:00 UTC –
The news is breaking tonight that indeed the flagship and pride of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, the guided missile cruiser Moskva suffered a catastrophic explosion tonight. From RIA-Novosti in Russia(translated):
Ammunition detonated on the Moskva missile cruiser as a result of a fire
There are of course claims by the Ukrainians that the ship was hit by a Neptune anti-ship missile, but at this point in time, all claims are suspect until visual confirmation of where the ship was at the time of the explosion, etc.
More from the Russian news service:
The ammunition detonated as a result of a fire on the Moskva missile cruiser, the Russian Defense Ministry said.
“As a result of a fire, ammunition detonated on the missile cruiser Moskva. The ship was seriously damaged,” the statement said.
“As a result of a fire, ammunition detonated on the missile cruiser Moskva. The ship was seriously damaged,” the statement said.The crew was completely evacuated. The reasons for the incident are being established.
Regardless of how this happened, either via an accident or lucky shot by Ukraine, this is a major humiliation for the Russian Navy and Kremlin. My personal speculation is that it probably hit a mine as the Russians have been extremely sloppy with their patrol protocols on air, land, and sea thus that possibility has to be considered also.
One more update before I crash for the night:
A Russian source is saying the Moskva has sunk and that the explosion was from a Ukrainian Neptun missile strike. Apparently, Ukraine flew a TB2 UCAV to distract the ship while it was targeted by the Neptun. The ship rolled onto its side after the strike.https://t.co/lACtPPJYVF— Rob Lee (@RALee85) April 14, 2022
The bigger if is what happens if this was indeed a Ukrainian missile strike? Putin will probably have to retaliate with massive force and odds are it would be a strategic bombing strike on Lviv and the staging areas for NATO equipment crossing the border. As Clint Ehrlich said tonight on Twitter:
More to come on that story in the morning as it will be daylight soon.
04.14.22 09:00 UTC-
No further updates on the Moskva other than unconfirmed reports that she rolled over and sunk overnight. Hopefully some better information is forthcoming.
As usual other updates will be provided via my Telegram feed.
From the UK Daily Mail:
Mariupol on the brink of falling into Russian hands as Moscow’s ministry of defence claims it has taken control of the city’s port and 1,000 Ukrainian marines ‘surrender’
Even if Mariupol were to fall tomorrow, the humiliation of the Moskva possibly sinking would overshadow the Russian victory.
NATO is making sure to keep the pressure up on Russia:
#Ukraine:❗️ShKH vz. 77 DANA 152mm self-propelled howitzers are already in Ukraine – seems a batch of them was recently delivered from the Czech Republic. The amount of supplied howitzers is currently unknown, however as seen they are already deployed/tested by the Ukrainian army. pic.twitter.com/zGQPklmiwW— 🇺🇦 Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) April 13, 2022
Meanwhile, the pressure around Kharkov continues from the Russian side:
20:23 #Kharkiv: “Clusterfuck, incoming, we’re saying goodbye just in case” https://t.co/Fyb26F6qui— English Luhansk (@loogunda) April 13, 2022
20:33 “Alive so far” https://t.co/scddlFrxFK
21:25 “A battle near Kharkiv, no incoming so far” https://t.co/660WkH4AUQ
22:06 Again there’s a rumbling&booms https://t.co/qplrb1DQdQ
More from the Kharkov area:
Heavy MRLS shelling in the vicinity of Kharkiv this evening. pic.twitter.com/6X3naR6Pxw— Status-6 (@Archer83Able) April 13, 2022
Meanwhile, south of Izyum, the fighting continues to intensify as the battle to close the salient seems imminent:
Next update will be after 08:00 UTC…