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Good Bye Slava



Davy Jones Claims the Russian Flagship

(USNI) The Russian Navy’s Black Sea flagship has suffered major damage and the crew has abandoned the ship, state media said late Tuesday in reports following Ukrainian claims of hitting the ship with a missile strike.

The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed the “mishap” on RTS Moskva (121), a ship in the country’s Black Sea Fleet, according to state-run outlet TASS.

The crew of the Moskva the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet was severely damaged and the crew abandoned ship, the Russian Defense Ministry told TASS.

A fire broke out on the ship, causing ammunition to detonate, according to TASS. State media did not elaborate on the cause of the fire.

Ukrainian officials claimed that shore-based anti-ship guided missiles hit Moskva which had been operating from the Black Sea Fleet’s headquarters in Sevastopol, Crimea.

“Neptune missiles guarding the Black Sea caused very serious damage to the Russian ship.”

Moskva was commissioned into the Soviet Navy in 1982 and is one of three Slava-class guided-missile cruisers. The two other Slavas are RTS Marshal Ustinov (055) and RFS Varyag (011) have been operating in the Mediterranian.

Neptunes, first fielded in 2021, are based on the Soviet AS-20 ‘Kayak’anti-ship missile which is similar to the U.S.-built Harpoon missile.


Even more to the point, the Russian shipbuilding industry can not replace this ship. The loss of the flagship, even though she is aging, is critical to maintaining the Russian Fleet’s anti-aircraft capacity at any given point. In this case, covering the area around Odessa.


  1. ” critical to maintaining the Russian Fleet’s anti-aircraft capacity” Pretty stupid idea to be in range of a land based missle when the Ukrainians aren’t fielding an airforce to defend against. I wonder whose satelite tracking data and pattern analysis was passed along to Ukraine to say ‘look at the cruiser sailing back and forth in area XYZ’. Be a shame if someone flew a drone over to confirm the target before firing off a couple rounds….

    • The 64 (8 × 8) S-300F Fort (SA-N-6 Grumble) long-range surface-to-air missiles carried by the Slava need to be within about 50 km of the target if they are to engage enemy aircraft beyond about 150 km. Maybe closer.

      The Kh-35 (NATO reporting name: AS-20 ‘Kayak’) 3M24 Uran (SS-N-25 ‘Switchblade’) 3K60 Bal (SSC-6 ‘Sennight’) has a max range of about 130 km, so you may not want to fire them beyond 100 km just to be safe. A Bal system has four self-propelled launcher vehicles each carrying eight missiles for a total of 32 missiles in a salvo, plus reloads for another wave. The launchers can be up to 10 km from the coast and hit targets at ranges up to 120 km (75 mi; 65 nmi)

      The Moskva has been sailing in the same pattern, generally within range, since the war began. We know that now. Commercial satellites have tracked it. It docks at the same place in Crimea every time it visits. The air defense in Crimea is judged too formidable for this sort of attack.

      Has the US been giving Ukraine information (classified) from the KH-12 that it parked overhead in a geosynchronous orbit? That would be classified, but the chance of it happening is much better than buying a lottery ticket.

      “Target designation data can be introduced into the missile from the launch aircraft or ship or external sources. Flight mission data is inserted into the missile control system after input of target coordinates. An inertial system controls the missile in flight, stabilizes it at an assigned altitude, and brings it to a target location area. At a certain target range, the homing head is switched on to search for, lock on, and track the target. The inertial control system then turns the missile toward the target and changes its flight altitude to an extremely low one. At this altitude, the missile continues the process of homing by the data fed from the homing head and the inertial control system until a hit is obtained.

      The Slava Class has 6 point defense AAA guns. Was their radar switched on/standby? They also have point defense missiles that were likely not engaged in this sort of threat.

      Whatever happened, the Russians lost The MOSCOW.

      Was Adm. Igor Osipov, commander of the Black Sea Fleet onboard? Did he escape when they abandoned ship? Usually I’d think that he’d be in Crimea, at the land HQ, but he could have been aboard the flagship. Would the US know that? I’m guessing that they would.

        • The Russians have severely underestimated the Ukrainians in every scenario. The Navy had the same overconfidence that the Army, Airborne Forces, and Air Force did.

  2. It’s as if the Ruskies decided to reinvent all known military tactics for modern “neener-neener can’t shoot me ’cause I’m in a big boat or tank” version. Usually tough guys with a gun are merely scrawny punks when relieved of their weapon.

    Watch what happens today at Twitter headquarters when the “social influencer” weaklings, who thought they were “all that” and important, start crying over Musk’s stock purchase offer they can’t refuse. Let the “That’s not fair!” whining begin.

    • The pukes at Twitter are all going to be fired. Mark my words. Musk is the richest man in the world and didn’t get there by being a fool.

      • Meeting now, having a yoga meditation safe room session after hearing they may be gone by this afternoon. Maybe they can hire on with BLM or Antifa to assuage their angst with “peaceful protesting”.

        • The white ones can self-identify as negroes. I’m sure that will cement them a big place in the BLM movement. Men can self-identify as women, women can self-identify as men and it will be a brave new world.

      • I just read somewhere where Carl Icahn bought a business and couldn’t figure out what 12 floors of office workers did. He hired people to figure it out and they couldn’t. So he fired all 12 floors.

        • Brother sent it to me yesterday, from The Federalist. When a business gets so inward on itself it loses focus and direction, starts flapping in the wind off course, takes a proven outsider to fix…and fire the dead wood.

  3. em-barrassing! one might be excused for thinking the russian military is being run by brandon nominees.

    • The flagship is named MOSCOW. Just as a propaganda victory this is huge. I’m sure that Putin is choking on his borscht today.

      • lol, yes i know a little russian. took it under professor fahey. hey did you hear the USS THE SULLIVANS is sinking today? i don’t know which is worse, the moskva getting hit or the sullivans sinking in port.

        • OUCH! Didn’t hear that about The Sullivans until you posted it.

          Hull preservation is critical to all museum ships. A large part of the operating expenses on the Iowa are related to hull preservation.

  4. Between anti tank missiles and anti ship missiles it sure seems like militaries will have to radically change tactics or risk really heavy losses. One missile hit and they had to abandon ship. Or are the Ukrainians just taking advantage of an on-ship accident and fire and saying one of their missile caused the damage?

    • See my response to Frederick, above. The Russians are saying that “ammunition aboard exploded”, which wouldn’t be a lie. They are not saying that a volley of Russian-made missiles led to the ammunition exploding (secondary explosion).

      The Moskva has been sailing in predictable patterns for 7 weeks now, in range. Why wouldn’t Ukraine try to take out the Flagship of the Black Sea Fleet under those circumstances?

    • That was a good article, even if it was published in the Bulwark. Hopefully our senior military officers have not devolved into what the Russian equivalents are doing.

      • That should have been posted below where I reposted it. Just saw Ed+Campbell and an embedded URL and dropped the comment. Off to Maundy Thursday Church service to sing in the choir.

  5. The conflict between Ukraine and Russia is almost a civil war, IMO. Ethnic cousins and much common equipment. Ukraine once being part of the Soviet Union, wouldn’t much of the military training and tactics be similar?

    • I just finished reading it. My thought was probably more accurate 12-20 years ago. Consider the “War of Northern Aggression”. The North had the industrial edge and the South experienced military commanders. Many of the professional military officers were Southerners.

    • That was a good article, even if it was published in the Bulwark. Hopefully our senior military officers have not devolved into what the Russian equivalents are doing.

  6. re — yuge hole in the water
    Are American partisans and guerillas taking notes?
    1922, give or take a few decades.
    Based on the increasingly accumulating evidence, Big Military operating Big Targets seem to be cannon-fodder toss-aways designed for some war of a century ago.
    On the other hand:
    A single insurgent with a single weapon appears to be The Most Successful Unknowable Threat to the bureaucrats of any capitol city.
    How many spy satillites — at a billion fedbux apiece, plus staffers at a billion fedbux annually — is required to locate one hillbilly if she/he decides to stay unfound.
    Meanwhile, the building of the satillite operators, their quarters and supply-chain, remain yuge targets for a single insurgent.
    Similar to televisionprogramming preachers and other cheesy grifters (looking at you, tony robbins), my response to the pan-handlers in any BureauOfJustifyingOurExistence wanting to transfer my wealth to their MilitaryBudget© is the same:
    * “No.”

  7. What are the odds that the Moskva had one or more nuke warheads for its missiles? And if so, that they are recoverable and still usable…….

  8. Score one for 2 Harpoonskis… And even better, the Ukrainians had a drone up as a ‘distraction’ and targeting platform off axis from the launch vector! LOL

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