U.S. helped Ukraine sink Russian flagship Moskva

Boris Ulloa

Boris Ulloa/EFE

Kiev managed to pinpoint the exact location of the missile cruiser thanks to information from Washington, according to U.S. media.

The United States provided intelligence to help Ukraine sink the Moskva missile cruiser, the flagship of Russia's Black Sea Fleet, in April, U.S. media reported Thursday.

These media outlets, including BBC and the Washington Post and citing U.S. government sources, noted that Washington had "no advance warning" that Kiev was going to attack this flagship Russian vessel.

They acknowledged, however, that the U.S. "shares maritime information" with Ukraine to assist the country in defending itself against attacks by Russian forces, which have been launching missiles from their warships from the Black Sea into Ukrainian territory.

The U.S. would have helped pinpoint the exact location of the missile cruiser to enable the Ukrainian attack, according to these sources.

From the Pentagon, the U.S. role in the sinking of the Moskva has not been officially confirmed, but close cooperation with Kiev has been acknowledged.

"Ukraine combines information that we and others provide with intelligence that they gather on their own. And then they make their own decisions," State Department spokesman John Kirby told a news conference.

So far, Russia has admitted one dead and 27 missing in the sinking of the Moskva, which Moscow attributes to a fire and ammunition explosion, and Kiev and the U.S. to the impact of two Ukrainian missiles.

Ukrainian Army sources claimed that the Russian ship had been hit by two Ukrainian "Neptune" missiles, as a result of which several explosions and a fire broke out on board.

Russia first claimed that the ship maintained buoyancy, that the fire and ammunition explosions had been brought under control and that the crew had been evacuated to other ships in the area.

Hours later, however, the Defense Ministry reported that the Moskvah went down "in the middle of a storm while being towed to port."

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Hello, my name is Boris Ulloa, an international journalist living in New York.

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