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Russia’s Black Sea flagship seriously damaged

Russia’s flagship Black Sea missile cruiser has been “seriously damaged” and its crew forced to evacuate.

The defence ministry said ammunition on the Moskva exploded in an unexplained fire, but that the 186-metre (610 foot) vessel was still afloat.

Ukraine claims it struck the vessel with its Neptune missiles.

The 510-crew warship has led Russia’s naval assault on Ukraine, making it an important symbolic and military target.

Earlier in the conflict the Moskva gained notoriety after calling on Ukrainian border troops defending Snake Island in the Black Sea to surrender – to which they memorably radioed a message of refusal which loosely translates as “go to hell”.

Editing by Omotola Oguneye