One of Russia's most important warships sank in the Black Sea on Thursday following heavy damage that Ukraine's military has taken credit for, multiple outlets have reported.
Ukrainian officials said earlier that their troops struck the ship — known as the Moskva — with missiles, but Russian officials have not acknowledged such a claim. Moscow did, however, cite a fire on board, per The Associated Press.
Western officials have been unable to confirm what caused said fire.
"During the towing of the cruiser Moskva to the port of destination, the ship lost its stability due to hull damage received during a fire from the detonation of ammunition," the Russian Ministry of Defense wrote in a statement on that matter, per CNN. "In the conditions of stormy seas, the ship sank." The Defense Ministry had said earlier in the day that the vessel was still afloat, CNN reports.
Losing the Moskva is a huge symbolic setback for Russia, experts and journalists have remarked. In fact, the warship was reportedly the one Ukrainian forces told to "go f--k yourself" early on in the invasion.