A video released by Russia's Ministry of Defense purported to show dozens of crewmen from the Moskva missile cruiser stood in formation two days after the ship sank did not answer any questions about the fate of the vessel and its more than 500 personnel.
The questions reached a point Saturday that even Vladimir Solovyev, a popular prime-time talk-show host whose pronouncements often reflect the Kremlin line, began asking what went wrong.
Mr. Solovyev, who described himself as outraged over the sinking, asked a series of rhetorical questions that picked at both versions of how the Black Sea fleet vessel sank overnight on Wednesday.
The Russians claimed that if the ship caught fire before sinking, why did it not have a system to extinguish such blazes, the television host wondered aloud. If the ship was sunk by two Ukrainian-made Neptune missiles, as Ukrainian and unidentified U.S. Defense Department officials claimed, then why did it lack an antimissile system?