False report that Russian frigate hit by Ukrainian anti-ship missiles

The vessel the Admiral Makarov was reportedly struck near Snake Island by Ukrainian-made Neptune anti-ship missiles.

 Permanent group of the Russian Navy in the Mediterranean Sea, 2016 (photo credit: Russian Ministry of Defence/Wikimedia Commons)
Permanent group of the Russian Navy in the Mediterranean Sea, 2016
(photo credit: Russian Ministry of Defence/Wikimedia Commons)

A Russian frigate may have been incorrectly reported as having been struck by anti-ship missiles in the Black Sea, Ukrainian outlet Liga.Net reported on Friday.

The Admiral Makarov, was reported by Dumskaya as having been struck near Snake Island by Ukrainian-made Neptune anti-ship missiles.

Ukrainian presidential advisor Aleksey Arestovich said that it was a misunderstanding, and the sinking of a Serna-class landing vessel was instead struck, Liga.net reported on Saturday.

On Saturday Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said "We've been looking at this all day and we have no information to corroborate those reports."

The Kremlin said that it has no information about a strike on a Russian ship in the Black Sea, Russian state media outlet TASS reported on Friday. 

The Admiral Makarov, an Admiral Grigorovich-class frigate commissioned in 2017 is one of three of its kind, according to TASS. The ship is reportedly designed to counter other surface ships, and submarines and repel air attacks.  

The claims about the strike comes as news broke that the US may have provided Ukraine with the intelligence that it needed to strike the now wrecked Black Sea fleet flagship the Moskva

"We do not provide intelligence on the location of senior military leaders on the battlefield or participate in the targeting decisions of the Ukrainian military,"  Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby said on the subject in a Thursday press briefing.

The Moskva, itself connected to Snake Island as one of the vessels that seized it in an infamous incident, also was reportedly struck by Neptune missiles on April 13. Russia claimed that the ship was damaged in an onboard fire that set off ammunition stores. The ship sunk in stormy weather as it was being towed to safety.

Russian Defense Ministry admitted to casualties, saying that of the 396 crewmen, "one serviceman was killed, another 27 crew members went missing," AFP reported. On Friday the Ukrainian National News Agency "Ukrinform" claimed that the father of one Moskva crewman who was missing in action was told by the Russian Navy prosecutor's office that the Moskva was not considered as having taken part in hostilities, and was not in territorial waters of Ukraine.

Russian missile cruiser Moskva is moored in the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Sevastopol, Ukraine, May 10, 2013. (credit: REUTERS/STRINGER/FILE PHOTO)Russian missile cruiser Moskva is moored in the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Sevastopol, Ukraine, May 10, 2013. (credit: REUTERS/STRINGER/FILE PHOTO)

The Ukrainian military, as of Thursday, claims to have sunk 10 Russian vessels. Besides the Moskva, the other notable naval loss was the Alligator-class landing support ship Saratov, which was destroyed by a ballistic missile as it was docked in the occupied Ukrainian port of Berdyansk, unloading war materials vital to the Russian campaign.

Russia has been bombarding Ukraine with its naval forces, but since the strike on the Moskva, its warships have been keeping their distance and using long-range ballistic missiles to attack. The Black Sea Fleet is crucial to supporting land operations in the south of the country. Like Admiral Makarov, the Moskva was said to provide significant anti-air coverage in the Black Sea region. 

Strikes on Russian ships have become significant symbols for Ukrainian resistance to the Russian invasion, and another such victory for Ukraine comes as Russia is seeking its own symbolic victory ahead of the May 9 Victory Day holiday.