‘Humiliated on land and on sea’ Putin tipped for ‘nasty’ retaliatory attack as 450 killed

Vladimir Putin suffered a considerable defeat after the Russian flagship Movska was sunk in the Black Sea. Reports differ on the events leading up to the sinking, with Ukraine claiming to have struck the cruiser with a missile while Russia insisted the ship sunk after a fire on board forced officials to order it back to port. Reporting from Kyiv, journalist John Sweeney warned the hammer blow, which is reported to have resulted in 450 Russian soldiers being killed, could push Putin into a rather “nasty” retaliation to recover from the humiliation.

Speaking to LBC, Mr Sweeney said: “We’re all agog at the amazing skill of the Ukrainian Army for knocking out the Moskva, this enormous cruiser.

“Apparently, what happened is they distracted the Russians with a drone, a big drone, and they were concentrating on that.

“They worked out the main radar on the ship has only got a 180-degree view and they sent the missile round the back and bang.

The latest reports that I’m reading is that maybe as many as 450 Russian soldiers went down with the ship.”

READ THE LATEST UPDATES ON EXPRESS.CO.UK’S UKRAINE LIVE BLOG

He continued: “The Russian version is there was a fire and it was being towed and it sank.

“It’s laughable, you might as well say the Ukrainians tracked her, took the thing and dragged it back down into the sea.

“It’s a great moment because it’s a complete humiliation for Putin but it makes you worry how nasty will Vladimir Putin will get because he’s been so humiliated.

“He’s been humiliated on land and now on sea, so that’s worrying.”

READ MORE: ‘Would YOU live in Rwanda?’ Adil Ray erupts at Tory MP ‘It’s not good enough for you!’

The Moskva was by far Russia’s largest vessel in the Black Sea fleet, equipped with guided missiles to attack the shore and shoot down planes, and radar to provide air defence cover for the fleet.

It rose to fame in the early days of the invasion, after Ukrainian defence forces at Snake Island offered the first glimpse into the nation’s persistent defiance in the face of the Russian by refusing to stand down and ordering the Movska to “go f*** yourself”.

The Black Sea has been tipped to become one of the fundamental fronts in the next phase of the war due to the presence of the key port of Odesa.

Russia has used its naval power to blockade Ukrainian ports and threaten a potential amphibious landing along the coast.

DON’T MISS: 
Putin’ has a ‘doomsday plane’ that can withstand a nuclear blast [ANALYSIS] 
Bizarre ‘portal from hell’ opens up in California lake [PHOTO] 
Bulgaria and Greece break EU ranks with new nuclear plan [INSIGHT]

Without its flagship, its ability to menace Ukraine from the sea could be crippled.

Russia already resumed heavy shelling on Ukraine, with loud explosions being reported just a few miles outside of Kyiv.

Moscow was forced to relocate its troops from the Ukrainian capital after three weeks of failed attempts to encircle the city and take over.

Russian forces previously engaged in the north of Ukraine have been slowly been redeployed to the easter areas of Luhansk and Donetsk, where they have a firmer grasp on the population.

Putin is believed to be hoping to create a corridor linking the regions to Crimea, which has been forcefully annexed in 2014, and to completely cut off the areas from Ukraine.

Moscow was forced to relocate its troops from the Ukrainian capital after three weeks of failed attempts to encircle the city and take over.