Staunton, April 21 – The saga of the Moskva, the flagship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet that Ukrainian forces sunk, may not be over. According to the sources in the BSF, Russia is already removing weapons and equipment from the ship and may seek to raise and re-use the entire vessel.
Initially, such a recovery effort appeared impossible, the sources say, because it was reported that the ship had sunk in waters “more than 100 meters” deep, but now they report the ship in fact went down in waters only about half that depth, making recovery entirely possible (versia.ru/krejser-moskva-podnimayut-remont-v-perspektive-vozmozhen).
Versiya reports that at the present time, “work is underway to remove ammunition” and several weapons systems from the ship. After these efforts are completed, it goes on, “a final decision will be made regarding the fate of the cruiser – either it will be blown up or it will be raised.”
According to the BSF sources, the Russian military will not allow submarines of other countries to approach the remains of the vessel either to investigate its military technology or alternatively to blow it up. Presumably, the decision about whether to raise the ship or sink it will depend to a large degree on whether such foreign vessels are nearby.
In reporting these plans, the Versiya news portal also adds another detail about the sinking of the Moskva. It says that the BSF thinks that the ship would not have sunk if more of the crew had been allowed to remain on it rather than have been evacuated as so many of them were.
On the other hand, such suggestions are undoubtedly intended to suggest how humanely Russian commanders acted; but on the other, they may become the basis for some future bloodletting within the Russian navy, with some commanders blaming others for the loss of this jewel of the Russian fleet.