Almost exactly two years to the day since the Russian Black Sea Fleet’s flagship the cruiser Moskva was sunk after being struck by two Ukrainian Neptune anti-ship missiles a memorial, of sorts, was unveiled in its home port of Sevastopol, in occupied Crimea.

The news was broken by Dmitry Shkrabets, the father of one of the dead crew Yegor who was a cook on board the ship, through his VKontakte account which was reproduced by the Russian Agentstvo news site.

According to Shkrebets, neither the ship's captain, Anton Kuprin, surviving crew members, nor many of the relatives of the fallen were invited or even informed about the opening of the memorial.

The monument was erected on the territory of the Sevastopol naval base opposite the dock where the Moskva had been usually moored.  Shkrebets said the monument consists of a slab two meters high and about five meters long, three stones at the base of the slab bear the names of 21 dead sailors, 20 from the Moskva and one other, alongside a stone on which an image of the cruiser is engraved.

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Although Sergei Pinchuk, current commander of the Black Sea Fleet was present Shkrebets said the whole thing was low key and “unofficial.”

He said “Many of the relatives of the dead guys only received an invitation to the opening literally one day before and some did not receive any at all.

“People directly involved in the creation of this memorial, as well as members of the cruiser’s crew and the captain of the ship Kuprin, who wanted to attend, were not invited to the opening.

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“The [Russian] Ministry of Defense reported that there was one [confirmed] dead and 27 missing, for a total of 28 people.” Shkrabets said. Effectively eight are still only considered missing, as their bodies were never recovered, and so their names do not appear on the memorial.

Shkrabets said the unveiling had been filmed by representatives of the Black Sea Fleet, but, to date,  there has been no announcement of the memorial and no photos or videos have been made public.

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The cruiser "Moskva" sank on April 14, 2022. Ukraine claimed that the cruiser was struck by two Neptune missiles fired from a land-based launcher.

The official version released by Russia’s Ministry of Defense said a fire broke out on board, which led to an explosion in the ship’s ammunition magazine, holing and flooding the ship, after which the vessel sank while being towed to shore. The Kremlin initially stated that the entire crew had been rescued, but later confirmed the death of one crew member and the loss of 27 others.

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