Russian government-controlled news agency TASS carried this brief item on the 15th of April

Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy, Admiral Nikolay Yevmenov has met with the crew of the Moskva missile cruiser and, in particular, promised that the officers, midshipmen and sailors will continue to serve in the Navy, the Russian Defense Ministry said Saturday.

“Navy Commander-in-Chief Admiral Nikolay Yevmenov and the command of the Black Sea Fleet held a meeting with the crew of the missile cruiser Moskva in Sevastopol,” the statement said. “Yevmenov informed the cruiser crew that the officers, midshipmen and sailors would continue their service in the Navy.”.

There is no mention of how many of the crew survived or the fate of its skipper, Captain 1st Rank Anton Kuprin who is widely believed to be dead.

The Russian Defence Ministry released a carefully scripted and edited video of what remains of the Moskva’s crew showing a couple of shots of what appears to be Captain Kuprin.


Is it Faked?

It is certain that Moskva took casualties when she went down, the ship was hit by one or more cruise missiles at night in bad weather and in very cold water.  Given the general state of the Russian military so far, one cannot imagine the training of Russian sailors in damage control is state of the art.  It is also believed that the Moskva does not have a modern fire alarm system on board that automatically feeds information on the fire, and its temperature, and spread to a central fire control system. Pictures of the inside of the Moskva show her interiors spaces are full of plastics and even wood which burns furiously and gives off toxic smoke when lit off.  Additionally, the Moskva stored her main armament, in the form of 16 P-500 Bazalt or P-1000 Vulcan anti-ship cruise missiles, along with 10 torpedoes in exposed launchers and short-range anti-ship missiles all above deck.  This is a very bad idea. On US Navy ships, missiles and bombs are stowed below deck in armored compartments that can be flooded on command to prevent them “cooking off” if the ship is struck or catches fire. These are lessons born of hard experience in combat at sea, where the initial hit to the ship does some damage but the resulting fires reaching magazines can doom both the ship and her crew in minutes if not stopped. For this reason, our own navy pays special attention to using non-flammable paints and materials aboard as well to control the risk of fire and toxic smoke inhalation.