(Reuters) -Russia’s defence ministry on Friday confirmed for the first time that the crew of the missile cruiser Moskva suffered casualties when it blew up and sank last week, a report from RIA news agency indicated.
Russia initially said all the ship’s crew were evacuated after an ammunition blast triggered by a fire ripped through the Moskva, the flagship of its Black Sea fleet.
“Attempts by the crew to extinguish the fire were not successful,” RIA quoted the defence ministry as saying.
“During the struggle to stabilize the ship, one serviceman died and another 27 crew members went missing. The remaining 396 members of the crew were evacuated.”
Ukraine says it hit the vessel with an anti-ship missile.
Last Saturday, the defence ministry released footage of what it said was the head of the navy meeting with around 100 Moskva crew members.
(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Leslie Adler and Alistair Bell)