Moskva Sinking Prompts Russia to Bomb Ukraine Missile Factory
Just a day after Russia's Defense Ministry announced that its flagship of the Black Sea fleet, the Moskva missile cruiser, had sunk while being towed to a port after it sustained heavy damage, the ministry claimed through state media that it had struck a missile production and repair facility on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine.
"Tonight, high-precision, long-range, sea-based Kalibr missiles attacked a military facility on the outskirts of Kyiv. As a result of the attack on the Zhulyansky Vizar machine-building plant, workshops for the production and repair of long-range and medium-range anti-aircraft missile systems, as well as anti-ship missiles, were destroyed," ministry spokesperson Igor Konashenkov said early Friday, according to Russian news agency TASS.
The Moskva reportedly sank Thursday after Ukraine claimed to have dealt significant damage to the ship with a missile strike. However, Russian officials have maintained that the ship was damaged due to a fire that caused ammunition on board to detonate.
The explosions heard in Kyiv Friday were some of the largest in the area since Russia began withdrawing forces from the area around the Ukrainian capital city in advance of peace negotiations, according to Reuters.
The Institute for the Study of War, a U.S. think tank, warned at the time that it was less likely of a withdrawal, and more of a reorganization of Russian troops further to the east in Ukraine after the assault on Kyiv was unsuccessful.
Ukrainian officials and government departments have also celebrated and publicly taunted Russia on social media over the sinking of the Moskva, as the defense ministry reminded Russian ships that it was not too late to depart the Black Sea.
"The Ministry of Defence of Ukraine reminds the russian navy that the Black Sea straits are closed for entry only. The part of your fleet that remains afloat still has a way out," the Ukrainian Defense Ministry tweeted early Friday.
Russia also promised more attacks on Ukrainian soil and in Kyiv in response to Ukrainian attacks on Russian forces, Reuters reported.
"The number and scale of missile strikes on targets in Kyiv will increase in response to any terrorist attacks or acts of sabotage on Russian territory committed by the Kyiv nationalist regime," the ministry said in a statement according to Reuters.
In addition to the strike on the missile factory, Russia claimed that it had also taken control of a steel plant in Mariupol, which has not been confirmed by Ukrainian officials, however, Reuters reported.
The loss of the Moskva is by far the largest Russian loss in the war, as Forbes Ukraine reported, while a military expert confirmed Thursday to Newsweek that the ship was likely worth over $700 million.
It was also reported earlier Thursday that following the damage to the Russian flagship, several other ships deployed in the Black Sea were moved further away from the coast of Ukraine.
Newsweek has contacted the Ukrainian and Russian defense ministries for comment.
Update 4/15/22, 11:30 a.m. ET: This story has been updated with additional information.