KYIV, Ukraine—The flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, the missile cruiser Moskva, was seriously damaged and abandoned by its crew after its ammunition blew up, Russia’s Defense Ministry said. A Ukrainian military spokesman said the ship had been hit by cruise missiles, causing it to capsize and start to sink.
The Moskva’s entire crew, which usually numbers some 500 sailors, was rescued after a fire that led to the explosion, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement carried by state news agencies. It said the fire had been put out, explosions of ammunition had been stopped and that the vessel was still afloat. It didn’t say what caused the fire and hasn’t responded to claims that the vessel was sinking.