LIVE: Moskva Cruiser Sank While Being Towed in a Storm – RDM

The Russian Defense Ministry said that the detonation of ammunition damaged its missile cruiser on board due to a fire, which led to the ship sinking in a storm.

On April 14, Russian troops continued to advance and gain control of most of Mariupol city. Negotiations to reach an immediate and permanent ceasefire are stalled. Below are the latest developments as they happen.

State of emergency declared in Russian district after Ukrainian shelling

According to an order issued by the district’s head, a state of emergency has been declared in the Klimovsky district of Russia’s Bryansk region where eight people suffered wounds and over 100 homes were damaged in Ukrainian shelling.

“A state of emergency is hereby declared in the Klimovsky district <…> until further notice. Response activities are to be held at the local level,” the document reads.

The Ukrainian Armed Forces shelled the Klimovo settlement in Russia’s Bryansk region earlier on Thursday. An official from the district operations control center told TASS that two shell hits had been recorded. Eight people, including a pregnant woman and a child, suffered wounds in the attack. The child and another wounded woman are said to be in severe condition. Besides, 100 private houses were damaged in the shelling and two homes burned down. On Wednesday, the Noviye Yurkovichi checkpoint in the Klimovsky district came under Ukrainian mortar fire. The checkpoint remains operational.

Moskva cruiser sank while being towed in a storm – Russian Defense Ministry

The Moskva missile cruiser sank while being towed amid a storm because of hull damage sustained during the detonation of ammunition, the Russian Defense Ministry said Thursday.

“During the towing of the Moskva cruiser to the designation port, the ship lost stability due to hull damage, sustained during the detonation of ammunition because of a fire. Amid the heavy storm, the ship sank,” the Ministry said.

The Ministry underscored that the crew was evacuated to nearby Black Sea Fleet ships, as was announced earlier.

Russian artillery destroys 132 Ukrainian military targets. During his evening report, Russian Defense spokesman Igor Konashenkov confirmed that the Russian Army destroyed 132 Ukrainian military targets, including 8 command posts, 110 fortifications, 4 artillery batteries, and 1 arsenal.

Russian aircraft destroyed seven military targets, including an arsenal of artillery and missile ammunition, six groups of soldiers and armored personnel of the 54th Mechanized Brigade and the 128th Assault Brigade of the Ukrainian Army stationed in the Donbas region.

Since the special operation began on Feb. 24, the Russian military has destroyed 131 aircraft, 104 helicopters, 448 drones, 245 anti-aircraft missile systems, 2,188 tanks and armor, 248 multiple launchers, 957 artillery and mortar pieces, and 2,088 military vehicles.

Russian cruiser Moskva remains buoyant after blast. Russia said the flagship of its Black Sea fleet, the Moskva missile cruiser, remains buoyant though damaged in an early blast. The explosions of ammunition onboard had been stopped, the Russian Defense Ministry said, adding that the fire on Moskva was localized and there were no open flames. Its main missile armament was not damaged in the blast.

Earlier in the day, however, the Russian ministry said that Moskva was “seriously damaged” by the detonation of ammunition onboard as a result of a fire. On Wednesday, Maksim Marchenko, the governor of Odessa, said that Ukraine’s border guards on Snake Island used Neptune anti-ship cruise missiles to deliver “very serious damage” to cruiser Moskva.

Russia controls the port of Mariupol. On Thursday, Russia announced that it retained full control of the port of Mariupol after liberating it from the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion. The Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boichenko, however, denied such information.

“Our defenses continue to defend Mariupol. The Azov regiment and the Ukrainian naval infantry are mobilized… We are holding and Mariupol is still a Ukrainian city,” said Boichenko, who has already left the city, according to the German outlet DW.

Russia’s defense ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said that the remaining Ukrainian troops were blocked and could not “escape the siege”.

Located in southeastern Ukraine, Mariupol is a strategically important city because its control would allow the Russians to establish a land link between the Donbass region and the Crimean Peninsula.

Ukraine bought drones to spray toxic chemicals. On Thursday, Igor Kirillo, the chief of Russia’s Radiation, Chemical and Biological Protection Troops, denounced that Ukraine bought over 50 drones that can be used to spray toxic chemicals. The commercial operation would have been carried out in January through intermediary companies.

During a reconnaissance action carried out in Kherson on March 9, Russian troops found three such drones, each of which has the capacity to spread 30 liters of toxic substances.

Ukraine carries out air strikes on the Bryansk border. The Russian Instruction Committee (RIC) denounced that Ukraine has carried out six air strikes on residential buildings in a village of Klimovo in the Briansk border region. These military operations left seven people wounded.

“The Armed Forces of Ukraine illegally entered the airspace of the Russian Federation with two combat helicopters equipped with heavy offensive weapons,” the RIC said. The governor of Belgorod said a village in the Graivoronsky district was also attacked from Ukrainian territory on Thursday.

On Wednesday, Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov warned that Russia will bombard command centers in Kyiv if the Ukrainian Army carries out actions on Russian territory. On April 1, Moscow reported that two Ukrainian helicopters attacked a civilian fuel depot near Belgorod City.

Russia is the target of the Western hybrid war. Foreign Affairs Minister Sergey Lavrov accused the United States and its allies of unleashing a hybrid war against his country.

“The collective West has actually declared a total hybrid war against us under the pretext of the Ukraine crisis. It encompasses very diverse areas, including the information space,” he said.

To consolidate its offensive strategy, the West appears as ‘the torch of democracy’, he said, adding that the U.S. and its allies violate commitments of ensuring freedom of expression and equal access to information.

For Lavrov, the West forgot its international obligations as soon as Russia began to defend its legitimate interests.

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