Russia’s Defense Ministry released a brief video of the navy chief meeting with crew members of the sunken warship Moskva on Saturday, as social media posts surfaced that appear to confirm at least one death on board .
In a 26-second video – the crew’s first public appearance since Moscow admitted the country’s most powerful battleship had sunk – Admiral Nikolai Yevmenov is seen meeting crew members in Sevastopol. About 100 sailors can be seen, although at least 500 were on board when the ship sank after Ukrainian officials said they managed to hit it with at least one Neptune missile.
Moscow, which admitted the ship was “severely damaged” but blamed it on an explosion of ammunition on board, said all crew members were rescued without providing details of their fate after the disaster.
Ukrainian authorities said part of the ship’s crew who were told “Fuck you” by a Ukrainian serviceman did not survive.
At least one crew member appears to have been publicly mourned on Russian networking site Odnoklassniki, according to a report by the Ukrainian service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty on Saturday.
In a message from a woman identified as his widow, Ivan Vakhrushev is said to have “died performing his duty” on the ship. “He fought until his last breath for the life of the ship,” the message read.
The outlet reports that the woman, Varvara Vakhrusheva, confirmed in follow-up correspondence that her husband, who was responsible for the ship’s operational security, died on board.
“They discovered his body,” she told the outlet, adding that she had been informed by the military command.
At least 27 other crew members of the ship are still missing, she said.
The Russian Defense Ministry, meanwhile, said in a statement on Telegram on Saturday that all of the ship’s crew would “continue to serve in the navy”, but did not comment on the fate of the hundreds of sailors who seemed to be missing. Sevastopol photo-op.
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