The destruction of the cruiser Moskva by Ukraine in April 2022 marked a turning point in this conflict. More recently, Ukraine revealed how it was able to destroy the flagship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet.
The following is the chronology of events according to a declassified document published on November 7, 2022 by the Ukrainian journal Pravda (UP) on how the nation freed Zmiiny Island (also known as “snake island”) and sank the ship Moskva. the period designated by the UP. The cruiser Moskva was discovered at sea by Ukrainian intelligence on the night of April 13–14, 2022, and this issue was handled. Kyiv asked NATO’s European intelligence agency to confirm the presence of the cruiser Moscow and an object in a particular square.
“NATO intelligence confirmed the cruiser Moskva’s coordinates and gave them to Ukraine, particularly with the aid of the American P-8 Poseidon surveillance plane. After confirming the information, Ukraine carried out one of the greatest military operations in its history. According to coordinates obtained from the P-8 Poseidon, two Neptun missiles were launched and destroyed the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet while many Bayraktar TB-2 drones diverted the cruiser Moskva’s air defences.
One of the earliest attempts to provide a detailed account of the biggest victory of the Ukrainian Navy over Russia is the material presented above. However, if you examine closely, you can spot a few “weaknesses” that make you wonder about the entirety of the aforementioned. First, according to the UP investigation, the Ukrainian military forces asked NATO to provide them with a location with “specificity” rather than disclose what they were looking for.
If this is the case, NATO will most likely just reject the intelligence request. It is inappropriate to play such “semantic games” with partners without having at least the same level of situational awareness. The involvement of the Bayraktar TB2 drone, which appears to “distract” the cruiser Moskva’s air defences, is a second “weakness” in the aforementioned tale. However, practical reasoning dictates that the interceptor missile on the ship must be in full operational mode in order to “distract” the enemy’s air defence system and allow for simple access by anti-ship missiles.
The Osa air defence installations, on the other hand, are still stationary and devoid of soot from S-300 missile launches, as seen in the cruiser Moskva’s final images before sinking, indicating that the crew is fully gone and is unaware of the situation. The Ukrainian Bayraktar TB2 UAV likely had a completely different purpose in this instance: it was its crew that initially noticed the cruiser Moskva before the attack. Additionally, the crew of this drone may have been the first to capture the moment the Black Sea Fleet flagship was struck by the Neptune anti-ship cruise missile and destroyed.
The cruiser Moskva did not identify the threat because it was an ageing ship with outdated, poorly maintained integrated technology, according to the Russian side of the story after the incident. However, the aforementioned claim is also untrue because the new cruiser Moskva had a significant refit and upgrade in 2020, replacing nearly all of its outdated electronic guns with more contemporary ones that employ ordinary digital technology.