WAR ROOM TEAM
The Russian flagship guided missile cruiser Moskva is reported to have sunk in the Black Sea under tow after a fire in the ammunition hold led to an explosion that seriously damaged the vessel. The Russian Defence Ministry, however, has denied that the cruiser has sunk, stating that it was still afloat and heading for repair. What is known for sure is that the ship did suffer significant damage and is for the time being out of service. UPDATE: Russian News Agency Tass has announced the Moskva has gone down [00:21]. Her crew was evacuated.
Ukraine was quick to take credit for the explosion, claiming that its forces had struck the Moskva with two Neptune missiles. While this is possible, the claim remains unconfirmed. The United States military has been supplying the Ukrainian armed forces with satellite images of Ukraine, south-western Russia, Belarus, and the Black Sea, giving the Kyiv regime an edge on the battlefield. So it is very possible Ukrainian forces got a lock on the Moska.
Through the night, Russian forces launched a series of air raids across Ukraine, hitting military installations and command centres in Kyiv, Odessa, Vinnitsa, Zhytomyr, Cherkasy, Kirovograd, Kharkiv, and Chernihiv. The Russian Defence Ministry had warned the Ukrainian government that it would strike the city of Kyiv if Ukrainian forces continued to hit targets inside Russia. In recent weeks, Ukrainian forces have been attempting to wage a guerrilla campaign on Russian territory.
The director of the CIA, William J. Burns, has said that in an attempt to secure a victory, Vladimir Putin may ‘use a tactical or low-yield nuclear weapon’ as the military campaign in Ukraine fails to achieve strategic goals. He cautioned that so far he had seen no ‘practical evidence’ of the kinds of military deployments or movement of weapons that would suggest such a development was imminent.
This suggestion from Burns is a now typical US information war tactic; increasing anxiety by proposing the worst case scenario developing from an untruth. The Russian campaign is not by any measure failing to achieve its objectives. What NATO and the Ukrainian government is describing as territory regained in counter-offensives is in fact territory from which the Russians have withdrawn in accordance with concessions Moscow made to the Kyiv regime at the last round of talks in Turkey. Almost invariably, the territory gained by Russian forces has been held.
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