One dead, 27 missing as Russian forces battle damage

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One dead, 27 missing as Russian forces battle damage

One soldier died and another 27 crew went missing during the struggle for the ship's survival, the Ministry of Defense said.

As a result of a fire on April 13, the Black Sea Fleet flagship Moskva was seriously damaged due to a detonation of ammunition, Russia's Ministry of Defense claimed on Friday. One serviceman died and another 27 crew members went missing, it said.

Attempts by the crew to put out the fire were not successful.

One serviceman was killed, 27 crew members were missing in the course of the struggle for the ship's damage. The remaining 396 crew were evacuated from the cruiser to the ships of the Black Sea Fleet in the area and taken to Sevastopol, the ministry said.

The ministry said that the vast majority of the officers, midshipmen and sailors of the contract service of the cruiser Moskva have expressed a desire to continue serving on the ships of the Black Sea Fleet.

A number of servicemen who wish to transfer to other garrisons will continue to serve on the vessels of other fleets. The Ministry of Defense said it is providing all the necessary support and assistance to relatives and friends of the deceased and missing from the crew of the Moskva.

The Russian military earlier announced that the Moskva sank while being towed to port in poor sea conditions. The Defense Ministry said that the warship's hull had been damaged by an ammunition explosion caused by an onboard fire.

Before Russian military claims of a fire onboard the Moskva, Kiev said the vessel had been struck by Ukrainian anti-ship missiles. The head of the Odessa region's military administration, Maxim Marchenko, claimed that very serious damage to the Moskva had been caused by Ukrainian Neptune missiles fired from Odessa.

Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February, after Ukraine failed to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French brokered protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists that the Russian offensive was unprovoked and has denied that it plans to retake the two republics by force.