Hundreds of crew members are yet to be accounted for after the Russian warship was reportedly struck by a Ukrainian missile before it sank in the Black Sea on Thursday. Meanwhile, Russia has insisted that the ship sank following a fire onboard caused by an explosion of ammunition after which it was then towed in choppy waters where it sank.
Footage of the warship with a damaged hull, contradicts the Russian theory and many are doubting the truth behind Russia’s statement that the majority of the 514 strong crew were rescued.
Kremlin officials have also shared a dubious video of an alleged ceremony for the survivors of the ship that appears to have been doctored with sailors being seen multiple times and background features such as tree foliage that suggest the date of the footage is incorrect for this time of year.
Mother Yulia Tsyvova joined other families in breaking their silence and risking censure and arrest in order to find out information about her son Andrei who was part of the crew.
Ms Tsyvova received a call from Russia’s Defence Ministry who said her son had died.
Speaking to the Guardian, she said: “He was only 19, he was a conscript.
“They didn’t tell me anything else, no information on when the funeral would be.”
She added: “I am sure he isn’t the only one who died”
Andrei Tsyvov’s death is only the second confirmed death of the Moskva warship with the total number of casualties, deaths and people missing remaining a state secret.
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His wife Irina spoke to the Insider, an independent Russian website and noted that the total crew was just over 500, but when she and her husband went to the military hospital in Crimea, they only saw 200 injured sailors.
She said: “We looked at every burnt kid. I can’t tell you how hard it was, but I couldn’t find mine.
“There were only 200 people and there were more than 500 onboard the cruiser. Where were the others?”
Her husband said: “We need written answers to our questions about finding our children, not text messages with pictures and prayers.”