Image credit: Vasily Batanov/AFP via Getty Images
April 15, 2022
On the Moskva, think like Helen Mirren
Journalists Alexander Ward, Quint Forgey
The sinking of Russia’s ‘Moskva’ cruiser is a big symbolic win for Ukraine, but does very little to change the course of the war.
Experts NatSec Daily spoke to since the Kremlin confirmed the news say the Slava-class ship had minimal land-attack capability and was fitted with dated systems. Its main utility was gunning Ukrainian lands like Snake Island — a replaceable capability — taking on carrier strike groups, and protecting nearby Russian ships with its air defenses. The sinking helps explain why other Russian vessels stationed near Ukraine moved further from shore.
The Moskva, then, was never crucial to Russian President VLADIMIR PUTIN’s war plans, even if it was the Black Sea Fleet’s flagship. The loss is “pretty embarrassing but otherwise not that significant,” said MICHAEL KOFMAN, an expert on Russia’s military at the CNA think tank in Arlington, Va.
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