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Popular Russian blogger El-Murid: The sinking of the Russian flagship Moskva proves that Syria offered Russia poor preparation to fight a serious adversary

On April 12, 2022, the flagship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, the cruiser Moskva was damaged by what the Ukrainians said were Neptune missiles fired by Ukrainian forces from Odessa.[1] Pentagon spokesman John Kirby confirmed the Ukrainian account.[2]

For Russia, the loss of the Moskva was a major disaster, but the Russian media refused to acknowledge the Ukrainian success. Russian TV Channel One reported as recently as April 17 that “there are no casualties among the crew of the Moskva missile cruiser. All sailors were evacuated in time. The cruiser sank while being towed to port during a severe storm.Due to severe damage to the hull, which occurred as a result of a fire and subsequent detonation of ammunition, the ship lost its stability – it tilted and could not recover The causes of the emergency on board are being established. [3]

When Vladimir Putin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, was pressed by photos showing the Moskva fire casting doubt on the survival of all crew members, he parried: “We have seen the pictures . But we can’t say how close they are to reality.”[4]

Responding to the Pentagon’s confirmation of the Ukrainian account, Andrei Klimov, head of the Federation Council’s Foreign Affairs Committee, asserted [“The United States] provides them (the Ukrainian armed forces) with very serious and operational intelligence information, which is extremely important for our Ukrainian adversaries, in particular by providing information and psychological support for the actions of this kyiv junta. »

Klimov pointed out that this American support also embraces the principle of “lying as loudly and as often as possible”. Accordingly, any information coming from the West should be immediately divided by 10.[5]

When the outlet Regnum.ru surveyed the reaction on the web to the sinking of the Moskva, it published statements expressing its gratitude that the ship’s crew was safe and that Russia could build more ships to replace the Moskva.

A Russian netizen, Maxim F., described the loss of the Moskva as a page in the glorious annals of Russian military history: “During active hostilities the ship sank. Isn’t that an honor for a military cruiser? is exactly what will be written in the history books: “The ship was wrecked during the war against Ukrainian fascism. Thanks to the courage and bravery of the sailors, the ship’s crew managed to evacuate. It will be a epic page of our new history!’

What was allowed to infiltrate were not questions about the official version of the accidental sinking, but whether quick action by the crew could have prevented it. Pavel S. wrote: “The main thing is to consider the mistakes made by the crew of the cruiser and not to allow the people of Bandera [a pejorative description of the Ukrainian forces] to create pretexts for mockery. It is we who rejoice that the crew made it home alive, and on the other side there is hysterical joy that they would have succeeded in flooding the Russian ship. Themselves have no fleet, at least this way they can comfort their evil guts. They must not be allowed to laugh; the Nazis must suffer!”

Valery S. came closest to crediting the Ukrainians for the sinking: “Hmm … it’s good that most of the crew were not injured. Nevertheless, we all understand that such incidents should not be allowed in the future. Our enemy is cunning and does not forgive mistakes. Everything that happens on the line of contact should be monitored as closely as possible, and we should not forget to ensure security of our warships.[6]

Widely read blogger Anatoly Nesmiyan alias El-Murid challenged the official version pointing out crude attempts to whitewash and embellish reality. Nesmiyan, who had gained a reputation as an expert on the Russian intervention in Syria, went further. Russian officials had defended the intervention not only as a pre-emptive battle against the Islamists, but frankly admitted that it served as a testing ground for Russian military hardware and provided necessary combat experience. Nesmiyan claims that Syria has done the Russian military a disservice because it did not have to face a serious enemy. This left him off guard for the fighting in Ukraine. Nesmiyan’s comments on the sinking of the Moskva follow below:

The Moskva condemned in flames (Source: Press.lv)

“The crew of the Moskva missile cruiser was evacuated after a fire caused by the explosion of ammunition. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the ship suffered heavy damage. The causes of the flame are under discussion. ‘investigation.

“As always, even in a situation where all the media have already reported the cause – the cruiser was hit by Ukrainian missiles, the Russian Ministry of Defense neutrally reported that things are not yet completely clear “Flame” is such a bland term, much like “burst” or “flood” [frequent euphemisms for tragedies used by the Russian press]. When the porridge is burned during cooking, it is a flame. However, when the munitions explode, they must be called differently.

“The fate of the ship itself is not yet clear. At 1:05 a.m. an SOS signal was transmitted; at 1:14 a.m. the cruiser was almost lying on her port side, half an hour later all power was lost. At 2 a.m. a Turkish ship evacuated 54 sailors from the “Moskva”, and at about 3 a.m. Turkey and Romania reported that the ship had sunk. events; there is still no (intelligible) Russian version.

“Things were going well in Syria: you can fly, bomb schools and hospitals, children and women from above. From the sea, recorded by a Channel One camera, you can lazily shoot Kalibrs. [cruise missiles]to the delight of the hamster crowd [people who take their cue from Russian TV]; nobody particularly bothers you, and all these things are called “exercises”. Half of the losses come from your army’s own negligence. The help of such exercises has now become obvious: faced with an enemy, who knows how to play the game, it turns out that the exercises must be carried out according to quite different scenarios. You should not play tank biathlon and air darts, you should not storm the cardboard “Reichstags”, but seriously and without fun to learn how to build missile defenses for your warships.”[7]

A day later, Nesmiyan added the following: “The Moskva cruiser sank after all. It has already been officially recognized. According to the official version – [it sank] when towed in rough seas. To be frank, there are no more other weather anomalies in the area, except for a pesky little rain, so, most likely, the condition of the cruiser was so deplorable that he could not even reach [a port] while being towed.[8]


[1] Nytimes.com, April 13, 2022.

[2] Nytimes.com, April 15, 2022.

[3] 1.tv.ru, April 17, 2022

[4] Ura.ru, April 18, 2022.

[5] Life.ru, April 14, 2022.

[6] Regnum.ru, April 17, 2022.

[7] El-murid.livejournal.com, April 14, 2022.

[8] El-murid.livejournal.com, April 15, 2022.