'We're sinking and falling to the side': Dramatic audio of Moskva's final moments released

16 May 2022, 09:19

Audio from the Moskva's sinking has emerged
Audio from the Moskva's sinking has emerged. Picture: Alamy/Twitter

By Will Taylor

Audio of the sinking of the Russian warship "Moskva" reveals the desperate scramble to save its crew after an apparent Ukrainian strike.

The missile cruiser sank off Ukraine's southern coast in what Kyiv said was a missile attack, while the Kremlin tried to claim it was caused by an accident.

Panicked sailors shout over the radio and alarms are blaring in the background of newly released audio said to have emerged from the ship.

"Moskva-1 – two holes, propeller stalled, sinking, falling on the side," one sailor says, according to a translation by the Ukrainian military.

A sailor says the ship has a hole below the waterline and rolled 30 degrees to its side – fitting with pictures released during its sinking on April 14 showing it tipped over in the Black Sea.

"There is no way to tow, we are trying to rescue the crew," a sailor says.

крейсер “москва”

🎤крайній запис перемовин крейсера "Москва": кричить про два влучання, крін на бік, потребі рятування екіпажа.

Posted by Оперативне командування "Південь"/Operational Command “South” on Saturday, May 14, 2022

The sinking of the Moskva was a terrible blow to Russia, and while its importance to its operations was debated, it was viewed as a major symbolic loss. It was the flagship of Russia's Black Sea fleet.

Russia retaliated with missile strikes despite claiming the ship sank in stormy weather as it was towed back to port after a fire broke out onboard.

Ukraine said it had been hit by a pair of Neptune missiles on April 13.

Read more: Moskva mystery: Russia releases video 'showing crew for first time' since flagship sunk

Due to the opacity of Russia's reporting on its casualties during the invasion, it is unclear how many died in its sinking. It has only confirmed one death and claimed the rest survived.

It released footage of the Moskva's crew after the sinking but it was unclear when the footage was done.

The Moskva's wreck was later designated as a cultural asset for Ukraine, in a jibe at Russia.

Read more: Dramatic image of burning Russian warship Moskva before it sank emerges

Earlier in the invasion, the Moskva inadvertently helped form part of the Ukrainian mythos about its military during the war.

The cruiser instructed Ukrainian soldiers defending Snake Island, in the Black Sea, to surrender – but the island's garrison instead replied with: "Russian warship, go f*** yourself."

The Moskva was sunk in April
The Moskva was sunk in April. Picture: Twitter

The moment made headlines across the world, and became one of the most iconic parts of the war.

The garrison survived, it later emerged, after they were initially feared to have been killed in the attack.

The island is again being fought over, with analysts stressing its strategic location potentially proving important to both sides.