Military analysts say that the Russian Navy's Black Sea Fleet's flagship will make it harder to gain full control over Ukraine's southern coast and ultimately move on the port city of Odesa, although it is unlikely to derail Moscow's war campaign entirely due to the loss of the Russian Navy's flagship.
According to an analysis by the Institute for the Study of War, the main role of the ship, the Moskva, had been to launch precision cruise missile strikes at Ukrainian logistics centers and airfields. A fire onboard the vessel on Thursday led the Russians to pull back several other warships from the Ukrainian coast.
The Moscow loss of the Moskva will reduce Russia's ability to conduct cruise missile strikes but is unlikely to cause a decisive blow to Russian operations on the whole, the institute wrote in its daily report.
The Ukrainians claimed that the vessel had sunk after being struck by an anti-ship missile, something that Moscow denied and Western intelligence could not confirm.