Father of 20-year-old Russian sailor who went down with the Moskva claims Kremlin deliberately ‘sank’ the Black Sea flagship to cover up the disaster after Ukraine struck cruiser with Neptune missiles
- Dmitry Shkrebets’ 20-year-old son was aboard the Moskva when it sank in April
- It is believed Ukraine hit Russia’s Black Sea flagship with two Neptune missiles
- However, Shkrebets claims that there were some survivors on-board the warship
- Rather than bringing the Moskva back to Sevastopol, the father claims Russia deliberately tugged the boat further into the Black Sea and sank it to cover it up
A father whose son died on Russia’s stricken Moskva cruiser has claimed he knows the horrible truth behind what happened to the hundreds of lost crew.
Dmitry Shkrebets, whose 20-year-old son Yegor was on-board when it was blasted by Ukrainian missiles in the Black Sea, claims the cruiser was deliberately sunk by Moscow to cover up the disaster – with the surviving sailors still on-board.
Shkrebets, 43, has led a solo campaign for transparency and justice on the fate of Vladimir Putin’s Black Sea Fleet flagship which was destroyed on 14 April by a suspected double Neptune missile strike launched by Kyiv’s forces.
He has demanded that the Kremlin come clean about the real death toll – officially just one – amid suspicions that dozens, or even hundreds, perished. And he has threatened to reveal more details, while insisting he is a true patriot to Russia.
Defying warnings to stay silent, Shkrebets asked: ‘Want to know why there were no badly wounded survivors from the Moskva?
‘Because they sank them together with the cruiser.
‘They couldn’t tug the ship to Sevastopol, because everyone would realise what happened, so overnight from 13 to 14 April they pulled it further south, and sank it.
‘This is the naked truth. The scary, awful truth, and I’ll prove it. The time will pass, and I’ll prove it. Look at the awful beasts we have as our authorities.’
A father whose son died on Russia’s stricken Moskva cruiser (pictured) has claimed he knows the horrible truth behind what happened to the hundreds of lost crew
Yegor Shkrebets (right), 20, a conscript who went missing after the Moskva cruiser death, is shown posing with his father Dmitry Shkrebets, who has has led a solo campaign for transparency and justice on the fate of Vladimir Putin’s Black Sea Fleet flagship which was destroyed on 14 April by a suspected Ukrainian Neptune double-missile strike
Russia has still not acknowledged the huge death toll, so far only admitting one casualty from the embarrassing blow to the Kremlin war effort. At the time, Russia claimed the Moskva was destroyed in an accident involving a munitions explosion.
Shkrebets says he has been targeted by Russian security services after he threatened to expose the true hidden horror of what happened to the lost crew.
The bereaved father has been interrogated for alleged terrorist offences after intelligence officials made ‘fake’ claims that he had sent bomb threats, he said.
Shkrebets revealed that interrogators had been sent to him by Russian secret services after he publicly criticised the failure to reveal the true death toll on the Moskva which had 510 crew members including an estimated 300 conscripts.
He accused them of concocting a bogus story that he had sent bomb threats from his laptop.
‘I’m even embarrassed for those serious, smart and really polite people who were forced to visit me because of such a bestial fake,’ he said.
‘It seemed to someone that the tragic death of my son did not shock me enough, not enough grief, not enough trouble.’
His son Yegor, 20, was lost in the sinking. He was a conscript – despite President Putin publicly insisting that draftees would not be sent to the military conflict.
Russia has still not acknowledged the suspected huge death toll, so far only admitting one casualty from the embarrassing blow to the Kremlin war effort. At the time, Russia claimed the Moskva (pictured, file photo) was destroyed in an accident involving a munitions explosion
Yegor, 20, was lost in the sinking. He was a conscript – despite President Putin publicly insisting that draftees would not be sent to the military conflict
The authorities appear to be seeking to gag him after he said earlier: ‘There were no rescue efforts. Officers fled the ship like rats, the sailors were abandoned.’ He vowed: ‘Putin will answer personally. He is used to lying.’
Denying there was any evidence of a bomb threat on his confiscated computer, he said: ‘You can’t make a terrorist out of someone who can never be one by nature, mindset and character.’
He called on officials who know the fate of the Moskva to admit it.
‘I can call myself a patriot in the healthy sense of the word,’ he said.
‘I can’t understand why everyone is silent. We’ve lost our flagship, we’ve lost our people – and it’s like nothing happened.’
The head of the Black Sea Fleet Admiral Igor Osipov has not been seen in public since the ship sank.
The alleged bid to repress Shkrebets with trumped-up charges comes as sensational new details have emerged of how the warship was hit by two suspected Ukrainian Neptune missiles, one in the bow, the second in the stern ‘below the waterline’.
The account comes from Igor Strelkov, 51, a former intelligence and army veteran who was formerly a staunchly pro-Vladimir Putin commander of clandestine military operations during the annexation of Crimea and in Donbas in 2014.
‘[There were] two missiles – the first [hit] the bow of the ship, the second hit the stern, below the waterline,’ he told TV presenter Andrei Kovalyov.
‘Initially the artillery cellar of the 130-mm tower blew up as a result of the first strike.
‘Then the ammunition for two Vulkans – these are anti-aircraft guns, multi-stem.
‘There was smoke. The command post was disabled.’
The Moskva was the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea fleet. Pictured: Russian president Vladimir Putin is shown on-board the missile cruiser with Egypt’s then-president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi
Igor Strelkov, a former intelligence officer who was formerly a staunchly pro-Vladimir Putin commander of clandestine military operations in Ukraine, speaks out on the Moskva cruiser to TV presenter Andrei Kovalyov
His version is that the attack – which Russia has not admitted, instead claiming the vessel sank from an on board fire and explosion – took the crew’s commanders by surprise.
‘The S-300 [missile defence] were not even open,’ he said. And at that moment the second missile hit the hold. ‘The cruiser tilted on the left and after some time it sank.’
The Moskva sank between one and three hours after the strike, said Strelkov, real name Igor Girkin who is wanted in the West over the shooting down flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014.
When quizzed by Kovalyov, he played down rumours that the West – rather than Ukraine – had fired the missiles which sank the Moskva.
‘Were those Ukrainian missiles? There are rumours circulating that someone else launched them,’ said the presenter. ‘Who else…?’ replied Strelkov. ‘I do not rule out anything, our dear Western partners might launch, but I do not know that.’
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