The Russians seem to send a deep-diving submersible to the wreckage of the cruiser “Moskva”
Russian Navy is reportedly trying to salvage sensitive materials from the wreckage of the guided-missile cruiser Moscowwhich sank in the Black Sea in up to 300 feet of water after Ukrainian forces around the strategic port of Odessa hit it with two Neptune anti-ship missiles on April 13.
According to naval surveyor HI Sutton, the eight-ship rescue flotilla includes the oldest active warship in the world, the Russian Auxiliary Community. The 110 year old man Community with its unique double hull carries the AS-28 diving submersible.
The 315 feet Community is essentially a floating gantry – a bunch of high steel arches stretching from one of the twin hulls to the other above the open water. Its main function is to winch things in and out of the water. Submersibles… or pieces of sunken ships.
Raise all MoscowThe 610-foot one-piece hull is impractical, of course. “It would be a huge engineering task to try to bring this ship to the surface,” an unnamed US Department of Defense official said. told reporters Monday. “We saw no indication that they showed any interest in doing so.”
But divers and submersibles can secure smaller objects.
It’s unclear exactly what the Russian rescue team might be looking for, but it could include cryptological material – radios and keys showing secret codes – as well as weapons or journals that might be of interest to a foreign power.
There could be bodies, of course. The Kremlin was quick pass the video around survivors from the cruiser, but the images represented at most a few hundred of the approximately 500 men who were probably aboard Moscow at the time of its sinking.
There was speculation, in the days that followed Moscow sank, that the cruiser had nuclear warheads in its magazines. The Pentagon official quashed the rumor. “We have no indication that there were any nuclear weapons on board the Moscow when he fell,” they said.
It is a chance for the Russian rescue effort which Community sails from Sevastopol in Russian-occupied Crimea. Turkey controls the Bosphorus Strait, the only channel into the Black Sea.
Needless to say, the Turks – who have strongly supported the Ukrainians by supplying them with TB-2 armed drones – are not letting Russian ships pass. The only naval power Moscow can deploy in the Black Sea and the adjacent Sea of Azov… is the naval power it had already deployed before expanding its war against Ukraine from late February.