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Mystery after the sinking of the Moskva in Ukraine: what happened to the 510 Russian sailors?


After the sinking of the Russian cruiser Moskva in the Black Sea, the families of the missing sailors wonder about their fate. Are they dead? Russia officially claims that the crew was rescued. The information surrounding the disappearance of the ship remains unclear.

Are the sailors of the Russian cruiser Moskva still alive? This is the question that the families of Russian sailors are beginning to ask themselves, a few days after the sinking of the cruiser. A real ordeal for the families who remain in the questioning.

Conscripts on the ship?

The Moskva is the ship of the Russian army that sank after being targeted by two Ukrainian missiles. Officially the Russian Ministry of Defense ensures that all the crew members have been evacuated. But for Natalia Goumenyuk, spokesperson for the military command of the southern region of Ukraine, quoted by the express“a storm prevented the rescue of the boat and the evacuation of the crew”.

Our colleagues from Guardian collected the testimonies of the Russian families of the sailors, in search of their missing loved one. Yulia Tsyvova, the mother of a crew member tried to get information about her son, without success. It was not until Monday morning that the Russian Ministry of Defense contacted him to announce the death of his son. “He was only 19, he was a conscript (…) They didn’t tell me anything else, no information about the date of the funeral. I’m sure he’s not the only one to be dead,” she laments.

“A cruel and cynical lie”

However, the ministry still refuses to provide an official figure of the number of injured and dead after the sinking of the ship. Since the boat broke up at sea, three families have confirmed that a loved one has died. The various testimonies confirm the presence of conscripted soldiers on the boat, information previously denied by Russia.

“A conscript who is not supposed to see active combat is part of the missing in action. Guys, how can one be reported missing in action on the high seas?!!!” asks Dmitry Shkrebets, whose son was a cook on the ship. And to denounce: “They said that the whole crew had been evacuated. It’s a lie! A cruel and cynical lie!”.

However, on Saturday April 16, the Russian Ministry of Defense released a video showing Moskva sailors meeting an admiral in Sevastopol. Raw images that in no way indicate the number of injured and dead in the sinking. As usual, Russia therefore refuses to communicate, to the chagrin of the families of the alleged victims.