“The Russian Navy may have felt too safe and did not expect a missile attack,” said army expert Colonel dG. Bernhard Gruber in a first analysis on expressTV.
In fact, the missile cruiser “Moskva” may have operated too close to the coast of the Ukrainian port city of Odessa: With its guided missiles, the “Moskva” is said to have shelled positions and cities across Ukraine, causing enormous damage.
Due to Ukrainian (or possibly foreign?) intelligence information, the Ukrainian armed forces were aware of the fairly exact location of the “Moskva” on Wednesday night: TB-2 “Bayraktar” drones are said to have spotted the target even more precisely also confused the air defense of the guided missile cruiser – probably so much that the two “R-360 Neptun” rockets approaching at 864 km/h were recognized too late by the weapons control officers on duty.
The impact of these guided missiles of Ukrainian design must have had devastating consequences: there were explosions, probably the own ammunition caught fire very quickly – the ship tilted to the left and from Thursday one o’clock in the morning lay burning on the port side.
The development and construction of the guided missiles that have now destroyed the billion-euro “Moskva” are said to have cost Ukraine no more than 40 million euros: the five-meter-long “Neptune” has a range of almost 300 kilometers and is with equipped with a 150 kg warhead.
The development of the entire system was carried out by the state-owned development office “Luch” in Kyiv. The “Neptune” project is a cooperation of many Ukrainian companies, in 2018 the first successful flight test took place.
For the Kremlin, the sinking of the “Moskva” is a catastrophe: In the propaganda, the loss of the guided missile cruiser built as an “aircraft carrier killer” cannot be viewed positively at all. And militarily, the loss of the flagship means that Russian naval operations in the Black Sea will likely be less frequent.