Russo-Ukrainian War 4/14/22

The Moskva in 2012 (Image via Russian Ministry of Defense)

The ‘Moskva’ (Moscow) guided-missile cruiser, the Black Sea fleet’s flagship, was sunk after suffering catastrophic damage from a Ukrainian missile strike.

Though Russian sources claim the ship sunk in ‘stormy weather’ after a fire erupted onboard, Western intelligence has supported Ukraine’s claim of a Neptune missile attack. The ship’s sinking could perhaps be the most significant single loss of life during the war, barring the alleged downing of two Il-76s by Ukraine.

The sinking of the Russian flagship, being a significant development in both the war and modern military history, also underscores Russia’s high attrition as it prepares for its southern offensive. U.S. and British intelligence has determined that Russia’s military may be unable to undertake its planned Donbas offensive with the current troops it has in the region, given the ‘completely devastated’ battalions it was forced to redeploy from Kyiv.

As ongoing battles are fought in the South, the imminent Donbas offensive will rest in the hands of the defenders of Mariupol, for which Ukraine has continued to express deep concern. Recent Ukrainian intelligence reported an increased desire to declare victory by May 9th in Russia, coinciding with the Red Army’s victory over Nazi Germany. With the current state of Russian forces, such a declaration would be tantamount to admitting complete failure; hence the next two weeks may see an increase in Russian desperation to secure a tactical victory.

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