Russia’s state-owned news agency has now confirmed that the Russian warship Moskva, the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea fleet, has sunk. The heavily damaged ship reportedly sank during an attempt to tow it back to port. Russia is being less forthcoming about the fate of the crew, thought to number over 500, the number claimed to have been successfully evacuated is far less.
The sinking of the Moskva, allegedly by Ukrainian anti-ship missiles, represents by far the single greatest Russian loss of the war. It will also act as a powerful deterrent, signaling to the rest of Russia’s fleet that approaching the Ukrainian coast is considerably riskier than Russian captains previously thought.
Meanwhile, the floodgates have truly opened on NATO aid, with the United States dropping all its previous trepidation about providing “offensive” or “heavy” weaponry. Artillery systems, armored personnel carriers, helicopters, Javelin missiles, and counter-artillery radars are all included in the latest package, with the Pentagon reportedly working closely with Ukraine’s military to fulfill Ukrainian requests. The deliveries are heavily skewed towards systems that require as little training as possible or ones that the Ukrainian military is already familiar with.
The Russian approach remains the same; throw tanks towards the frontline while using artillery to level what can be leveled. That approach is only going to get more expensive as NATO deliveries arrive tailored to counter exactly those threats.
Here are some of the most recent developments: