Kyiv (Times Of Ocean)- Ukraine’s government said on Friday the country was attempting to break the Russians’ siege of Mariupol, with fighting raging around Illich Steel Works and the city’s port, as explosions shook the capital Kyiv.
As part of its apparent retaliation for Thursday’s sinking of the Moskva, the flagship of Moscow’s Black Sea fleet, the Russians said they struck overnight what they said was a factory in Kiev that manufactured and repaired anti-ship missiles.
One of Ukraine’s missiles caused the Moskva to sink, in a powerful symbol of its resistance against a better-armed foe, according to Kyiv’s officials. Moscow said the ship sank while being towed in stormy seas after an explosion of ammunition caused a fire.
The US military believes that Ukrainian missiles struck Moskva.
Following a Pentagon statement that it could not confirm Ukrainian claims that missiles were fired at the Russian Black Sea fleet’s flagship, a US defense official said Friday it now believes the Moskva was hit by at least one, and probably two, missiles on Wednesday, causing the large fire on board.
An official spoke on condition of anonymity about an intelligence assessment.
After suffering heavy damage, the guided missile cruiser Moskva sank while being towed to port on Thursday.
It has been confirmed that the ship sank, but Moscow has not confirmed that it was attacked by Ukrainians. More than 500 sailors on board the Moskva were evacuated after the blast, according to Russian news reports.
Mariupol, on the Sea of Azov, has seen some of the most intense fighting of the war. With 400,000 residents before the Russian invasion, the city has been reduced to rubble after seven weeks of siege and bombardment. Thousands of civilians have been killed, and tens of thousands remain trapped in the city.