Russia's missiles hit Kyiv after warship Moskva sank

The Moskva warship

Russia loses the Moskva warship the flagship of its Black Sea fleet

Powerful explosions were heard in Kyiv on Friday and fighting raged in the east after Ukraine claimed responsibility for the sinking of Moskva, the Russian navy’s Black Sea flagship.

The sinking of the ship is being touted as one of the heaviest blows of the war, suffered by Russia.

The explosions appeared to be among the most significant in Ukraine’s capital region since Russian troops pulled back from the area earlier this month in preparation for battles in the south and east.

Ukraine said it hit the Moskva missile cruiser with a Neptune anti-ship missile. The Soviet-era ship sank on Thursday as it was being towed to port following a fire and explosions, Russia’s defence ministry said.

Over 500 crew were evacuated, the ministry said, without acknowledging an attack.

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The ship’s loss comes as Russia’s navy continues its bombardment of Ukrainian cities on the Black Sea nearly 50 days after it invaded the country to root out what it calls far-right nationalists.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy paid homage to all “those who halted the progress of the endless convoys of Russian military equipment … Those who showed that Russian ships can go … down to the bottom.”

There were no immediate reports of damage following the explosions reported in Kyiv, Kherson in the south, the eastern city of Kharkiv and the town of Ivano-Frankivsk in the west.

Ukraine’s armed forces claimed Russian attacks on the towns of Popasna and Rubizhne, both north of the port city of Mariupol, had been repulsed and a number of tanks and other armoured vehicles had been destroyed.

In more setbacks for Moscow, Finland, which shares a long border with Russia, and nearby Sweden are now considering joining the U.S.-led military alliance, NATO.

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