Ukraine-Russia war LIVE – Russian flagship warship sinks as Putin warns West of 'very painful consequences'

Ukraine-Russia war LIVE – Russian flagship warship sinks as Putin warns West of 'very painful consequences'

April 15, 2022

RUSSIA'S defence ministry has said that a Russian warship that was damaged by an explosion on Wednesday has sunk.

The Moskva – a flagship of Russia's Black Sea Fleet – was being towed to port when "stormy seas" caused it to sink, according to the ministry.

The 510-crew missile cruiser was a symbol of Russia's military power.

Kyiv says its missiles hit the warship. However, Moscow has not reported any attack and says the vessel sank after a fire.

Sky News' Security and Defence Editor, Deborah Haynes, has called the sinking of the Black Sea flagship a 'big embarrassment for Vladimir Putin'.

She also added: "If the Ukrainian claim about its missile strike is true, it also signals a capability to attack ships from the shore, which means other Russian vessels in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov are at risk – something their commanders perhaps had not previously anticipated."

Follow our Russia-Ukraine live blog below for up-to-the-minute updates…

  • Milica Cosic

    Families of 582 dead Russian soldiers ‘received corpse photo’

    It has been reported that Ukrainian officials have run more than 8,600 facial recognition searches on dead or captured Russian soldiers.

    This number of scans took place since 24 February, according to the Washington Post.

    The families of 582 Russian soldiers were then notified of their deaths with photos of their relative’s corpse.

    The Washington Post reported Ukrainians used face-scanning software from US tech firm Clearview AI to do so.

    They said it is “a brutal but effective way to stir up dissent inside Russia, discourage other fighters and hasten an end to a devastating war.”

    It adds: “But some military and technology analysts worry that the strategy could backfire, inflaming anger over a shock campaign directed at mothers who may be thousands of miles from the drivers of the Kremlin's war machine.”

  • Milica Cosic

    Russia warns of ‘consequences’ if West keeps arming Ukraine

    Russia has reportedly warned the US that there will be "unpredictable consequences" if Washington and Nato keep arming Ukraine.

    “We call on the United States and its allies to stop the irresponsible militarization of Ukraine, which implies unpredictable consequences for regional and international security,” the Washington Post reported.

  • Milica Cosic

    China must 'pay price' for Russia backing

    China must pay a greater price for backing Russia's invasion of Ukraine, a senior United States senator said today, during a trip to Taiwan.

    During a meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen, Lindsey Graham, a vocal China hawk, said the United States would "stand for what we love, we would stand with you".

    "To abandon Taiwan would be to abandon democracy and freedom… it would reward the worst in humanity."

    "We are going to start making China pay a greater price for what they are doing all over the world. The support for (Russian President Vladimir) Putin must come with a price," he added.

  • Milica Cosic

    MoD: Russia will likely 'review' maritime posture in the Black Sea

    According to the UK's Ministry of Defence, Russia has admitted the Slava-class cruiser has sunk, adding it had a "key role" as both a command vessel and air defence node.

    In it's latest intelligence update, the MoD said: "The Soviet-era vessel was one of only three Slava-class cruisers in the Russian navy.

    "Originally commissioned in 1979, the Moskva had completed an extensive refit designed to improve its capability and only returned to operational status in 2001.

    "This incident means Russia has now suffered damage to two key naval assets since invading Ukraine, the first being Russia's Alligator-class landing ship Saratov on 24 March.

    "Both events will likely lead Russia to review its maritime posture in the Black Sea."

  • Milica Cosic

    Summary of news this morning

    If you're just joining the blog – welcome. Bringing you the latest news and updates is Milica Cosic who will be doing so until 2pm today.

    Here's a summary of the latest news from this morning:

    • Ukraine's deputy prime minister has confirmed nine humanitarian corridors have been agreed for today
    • Russia claims tohave blitzed the factory which made the missiles that sunk their prized flagship Moskva
    • Fears have soared that NUKES may be on the sea bed after Ukraine blitzed a major Russian vessel
    • Ukraine’s prosecutor general Iryna Venediktova is leading the legal efforts to hold Russia's Vladimir Putin accountable for the atrocities committed in her country
    • Mariupol city council has claimed that Russian troops are starting to dig up the bodies of victims buried in the yards of housing blocks
    • The Russian military has threatened to strike Ukraine's command centres in the capital, Kyiv

    Fears sunken Russian warship Moskva was carrying NUKES

    FEARS have soared that NUKES may be on the sea bed after Ukraine blitzed a major Russian vessel.

    The sinking of the Moskva on Thursday prompted Russia to launch a furious retaliation, later claiming to have blitzed the factory which made the missiles that sunk their prized flagship.

    But in a chilling revelation, sources say there is now real concern that there are several nuclear missiles on the vessel.

    BlackSeaNews editor-in-chief Andriy Klymenko called for an urgent international probe into whether the Moskva was carrying nuclear weapons. 

    "Friends and experts say that there are two nuclear warheads for cruise missiles on board the Moskva,” he said.

    “Perhaps for many this is new information, but it is true” – the warship is “a carrier of nuclear weapons”.

    He asked: “Where are these warheads? Where were they when the ammunition exploded? Where is the point on the map, the coordinates?"

    Read more here.

    Ukraine claims Russia is exhuming bodies in Mariupol

    Mariupol city council has claimed that Russian troops are starting to dig up the bodies of victims buried in the yards of housing blocks.

    Writing on Telegram, city officials say have said: "In each yard they put their own overseer, who does not allow Mariupol residents to give the lands of their deceased relatives or acquaintances.

    "It is unknown why the exhumation will take place and where the bodies will be sent."

    Russian occupiers are refusing to let residents bury civilians who have allegedly been killed by enemy troops.

    According to Ukraine, there are 13 mobile crematoriums in Mariupol. 

    Ukraine says it swapped captured soldiers with Russia

    Ukraine said Friday it swapped several captured soldiers with Russia in the south of the war-scarred country, where Moscow's invading forces have solidified their greatest gains.

    "After tense negotiations, we managed to reach agreements on a prisoner exchange near the village of Posad-Pokrovskoye, where four Russian military personnel were exchanged for our five," Ukraine's defence ministry said.

    Russian troops have captured the city of Kherson, which is the administrative capital of the eponymous region where Friday's declared swap took place.

    The exchange followed an announcement from Kyiv on Thursday of a fourth swap of prisoners since the Russian invasion began.

    Russia promises to ramp up missile attacks

    Russias Defense Ministry has today promised to ramp up the scale of missile attacks on Kyiv in response to Ukraines diversions on the Russian territory.

    The statement comes a day after Russian authorities accused Ukrainian forces of launching airstrikes on residential buildings in one of the countrys regions on the border with Ukraine, in which seven people sustained injuries.

    According to Russian officials, some 100 residential buildings were damaged in Thursdays attack on the Klimovo village in the Bryansk region. The Defense Ministry said that the Russian forces in Ukraines Chernihiv region shut down a Ukrainian Mi-8 helicopter that was allegedly involved in the attack on the Bryansk region.

    • Milica Cosic

      Russia pledges more missile strikes on Kyiv after overnight hit

      Russia's defence ministry said today it had struck a military target on the edge of Kyiv with cruise missiles overnight and promised more strikes against the Ukrainian capital.

      The ministry said its forces had also completely taken control of the Ilyich Steel Plant in the besieged port city of Mariupol.

      Russia said on Wednesday that 1,026 soldiers of Ukraine's 36th Marine Brigade, including 162 officers, had surrendered near the steel plant.

    • Milica Cosic

      Nine evacuation routes agreed for today

      Ukraine's deputy prime minister has confirmed nine humanitarian corridors have been agreed for today.

      Iryna Vereshchuk said an evacuation route will again be attempted from the besieged city of Mariupol.

      She added that those who still remain in the port city will be able to leave by private car.

      Further humanitarian corridors will be opened from Berdiansk, Tokmak, Enerhodar and Sievierodonetsk. 

    • Milica Cosic

      Luhansk governor urges residents to leave

      The governor of Ukraine's Luhansk region has urged residents of six towns to evacuate immediately.

      Serhiy Gaidai appealed for people to leave the area, and writing on Telegram, he said: "Don't hesitate and leave while that possibility remains. … Choose life, buses are waiting for you at the pickup points. As are trains, of which there are enough." 

      This comes after after Gaidai said one person was killed and five were wounded in Russian shelling in the town of Kreminna.

    • Milica Cosic

      Ukraine: Russia killed more than 198 Ukrainian children

      According to Ukraine’s Prosecutor’s Office, at least 198 children have been killed as a result of Russian aggression.

      Another 355 children have been injured as of today, but the actual figures are expected to be higher.

    • Milica Cosic

      BREAKING: Russia launches airstrikes on factory that ‘makes anti-ship missiles’

      RUSSIA have claimed to have blitzed the factory which made the missiles that sunk their prized flagship Moskva.

      The defence ministry said it had rocketed the 'Vizar' plant on the edge of Kyiv on Thursday night which it says manufactures Neptune anti-ship missiles.

      And it promised more strikes against the Ukrainian capital as they seek revenge for the sinking of their prized ship.

      The ministry said its forces had also completely taken control of the Ilyich Steel Plant in the besieged port city of Mariupol.

      Russia have claimed to have blitzed the factory which made the missiles that sunk their prized flagship Moskva.Credit: Reuters
    • Milica Cosic

      Ukraine says five dead in Russia strikes

      Ukraine has today said that Russian strikes had killed five people in the east of the country after President Volodymyr Zelensky said Moscow's forces were aiming to "destroy" the region.

      In a report issued by the presidency, Kyiv said two people had been killed and two more wounded in the eastern Lugansk region while another three had been killed and seven wounded in the neighbouring Donetsk region.

      The presidency said "fighting was continuing along the entire front line" in Donetsk.

      In a late-night address Thursday, Zelensky said that "Donbas is the main target for Russia."

      "It's Donbas that Russia wants to destroy. It is the Lugansk and Donetsk regions that Russian troops are destroying so that only stones remain and so there are no people left at all".

      The statement today also added that explosions were heard in the Vasylkiv area outside the capital and that according to initially available information air defences had been activated.

    • Milica Cosic

      Ukraine’s prosecutor general leading wants to hold Putin accountable for war crimes

      Ukraine’s prosecutor general Iryna Venediktova is leading the legal efforts to hold Russia's Vladimir Putin accountable for the atrocities committed in her country.

      She told Associated Press that it is personal: “I protect the public interest of Ukrainian citizens. And now I see that I can’t protect these dead kids”.

      “And for me it’s pain.”

      Venediktova continued to say: “The main functions of the law are to protect and to compensate. I hope that we can do it, because now it’s just beautiful words, no more rule of law,” says Ms Venediktova, also the first woman to serve as Ukraine’s prosecutor general.

      “It’s very beautiful words. I want them to work.”

    • Milica Cosic

      Help those fleeing conflict with The Sun’s Ukraine Fund

      Many of you want to help the five million caught in the chaos — and now you can, by donating to The Sun's Ukraine Fund.

      Give as little as £3 or as much as you can afford and every penny will be donated to the Red Cross on the ground helping women, children, the old, the infirm and the wounded.

      Donate here to help The Sun's fund

      For more information visit https://donate.redcross.org.uk/appeal/disaster-fund

    • Milica Cosic

      First horror pics of Brit fighter Aiden Aslin

      A HERO Brit captured by Russian forces while fighting for Ukraine has been pictured in captivity for the first time.

      Aiden Aslin's picture was shared by a pro-Donetsk People's Republic Telegram account.

      The 27-year-old former care worker, who has fought for the Ukrainian marines since 2018, was shown with cuts to his face, and his wrists in handcuffs.

      A large cut and red mark on his forehead indicate he was hit with a blunt object resembling a rifle butt.

      The picture was shared in a tweet from Aslin's Twitter profile, which has around 67k followers.

      "Just got this, it looks as if they have gotten ahold of Aiden," the tweet read.

      Referring to his injuries, it added that his captors appeared to "have worked him over too by the looks of it".

      The tweet went on: "We're going to keep in the public eye every day until he's exchanged."

    • Joseph Gamp

      Russia issues sanctions against 398 members of US Congress

      Russia said Wednesday it had introduced sanctions against 398 members of the US Congress in retaliation against Washington’s punitive measures over Ukraine and said more sanctions would follow.

      “Taking into account the sanctions the US is constantly introducing, further announcements of Russian countermeasures are planned in the near future,” the foreign ministry in Moscow said in a statement, adding the sanctions included a ban on entry.

      In a separate statement, the foreign ministry said that it had introduced sanctions against 87 members of the Senate of Canada and more measures will be announced soon due to Ottawa’s “short-sighted” policies.

      After Russian President Vladimir Putin sent troops to pro-Western Ukraine on February 24, the West slapped debilitating sanctions on Moscow including the exclusion of several banks from the SWIFT messaging system, a coal embargo and new restrictions on investments.

      In coordinated action, Western countries have also announced the expulsion of dozens of Russian diplomats suspected of spying.

      On Wednesday, Russia said it was expelling a senior Czech diplomat from the EU country’s embassy in Moscow in a retaliatory step.

    • Milica Cosic

      How Russian warship Moskva was blown up by ‘Neptune’ missiles

      UKRAINIAN forces used some of their newest missiles to blow up an ageing Soviet-era Russian warship in the biggest naval loss since Britain sunk the General Belgrano.

      Slava-class missile cruiser Moskva was in service on-and-off for almost 40 years – and is now the largest naval asset lost since World War 2.

      The sinking was a fresh blow to Moscow's military campaign as it readied for new assaults in east and south Ukraine that were likely to define the conflict's outcome.

      Russia's defence ministry said earlier that over 500 crew aboard the Soviet-era missile cruiser were evacuated after ammunition exploded.

      It did not acknowledge an attack and said the incident was under investigation.

      Neptune missiles were only introduced into military service in Ukraine last year – with each weapon carrying a 330lb warhead with a range of 170 miles.

      The batteries, which are mounted on the back of large trucks, can be armed with up to 72 of the missiles.

      Targets are believed to be selected by drones.

      Read more here.

    • Milica Cosic

      Powerful explosions heard in Kyiv a day after Russian warship sank

      It has been reported that powerful explosions were heard in Kyiv today.

      This comes a day after Ukraine claimed responsibility for sinking Moscow’s flagship missile cruiser Moskva.

      The explosions appeared to be the most significant in Ukraine’s capital region since Russia pulled back from the area earlier this month.

    • Milica Cosic

      Russia threatens to hit Kyiv command centres

      The Russian military has threatened to strike Ukraine's command centres in the capital, Kyiv. This would be if there are continued attacks on its territory.

      "We are seeing Ukrainian troops' attempts to carry out sabotage and strike Russian territory," the Russian defence ministry claimed in its regular evening briefing last night.

      "If such cases continue, the Russian armed forces will strike decision-making centres, including in Kyiv," it added.

    • Joseph Gamp

      What are Neptune missiles?

      Ukrainian military officials say they struck the Moskva with a Neptune missile causing it to ‘sink’.

      The Neptune cruise missile system was designed by Kyiv military engineers in response to the growing naval threat posed by Russia in the Black Sea in 2014.

    • Milica Cosic

      Zelensky: RUssia needs to seek peace or leave international community

      In his nightly address to the nation, Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky said if Russia fails to pursue a peace agreement, they must leave the international community forever.

      "Either the Russian leadership will really seek peace or as a result of this war Russia will leave the international arena forever," he says.

      Speaking about Russia's increasing strikes in the east and south, he said: "All this feverish activity of the occupiers testifies first of all to their insecurity.

      "To the fact that even with significant stocks of Soviet military equipment and a significant number of soldiers… the Russian troops doubt their ability to break us, to break Ukraine.

      "Well, we do everything to justify their doubts."

      He also reiterated his call for a total embargo of Russian oil: "The European Union must stop sponsoring Russia's military machine."

    • Milica Cosic

      Zelensky hails Ukrainians' resolve 50 days into invasion

      In his nightly address, Volodymyr Zelensky told Ukrainians late last night that they should be proud of having survived 50 days under Russian attack when the invaders gave us a maximum of five.

      Back then even friendly world leaders urged him to leave, unsure whether Ukraine could survive, he said: "But they didn't know how brave Ukrainians are, how much we value freedom and the possibility to live the way we want."

      It was his only reference to the guided-missile cruiser Moskva, named for the Russian capital, which became a potent target of Ukrainian defiance in the opening days of the war.

      It sank yesterday while being towed to port after suffering heavy damage under circumstances that remained under dispute.

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