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Russia and its maritime troubles

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According to the United Kingdom’s Defense Ministry, the sinking of the Russian warship Moskva will likely prompt Moscow to reconsider its maritime strategy. 

Senator Steve Daines (R-MO) and Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-IN) visited Kyiv and Bucha on Thursday, becoming the first known American officials to visit Ukraine since Russia launched its invasion in late February. 

Meanwhile, German authorities seized the world’s largest superyacht after official confirmation that it is linked to Russian billionaire and business tycoon Alisher Usmanov. 

According to a Western assessment, the loss of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet flagship Moskva will force the Kremlin to reconsider its Black Sea maritime strategy. 

According to Russian state-owned media, a Russian warship stationed in the Black Sea has sunk.

Earlier in the day, the Black Sea fleet’s flagship missile cruiser was hit by a Ukrainian missile attack and evacuated, according to Ukrainian authorities. 

Ukraine said it launched two cruise missiles at Moskva on Wednesday. Moscow admitted that the missile cruiser Moskva sank on Thursday, but blamed it on detonated onboard ammunition. 

The Moskva was Russia’s command vessel on the Black Sea, and it was critical to the Russian fleet’s air defence strategy, according to a U.K. Ministry of Defence intelligence assessment published Friday. 

Since invading Ukraine, Russia has suffered damage to two key naval assets, the first being the Alligator-class landing ship Saratov on March 24.

Both events are likely to cause Russia to reconsider its Black Sea maritime posture. 

Military analysts believe the Moskva would have played a key role in any amphibious assault on Odesa, Ukraine’s most important maritime port. 

According to the British ministry, the Soviet-era Moskva was refitted to improve its capabilities and returned to operational status last year. It was involved in Russia’s 2015 bombing of Syria, 2014 invasion of Crimea, and 2008 war with Georgia. 

Russia claims that its 510-person crew was safely evacuated.