By Sending a Submarine to the Wreck of the Moskova, Russia Makes the World Wonder What has been Lost

The Russian Black Sea flagship, the cruiser guided-missile Moskva, was sunk in a storm that never existed (BREAKING. Russian Flagship Sinks while being Towed to Port) following being struck with two Neptune anti-ship missiles (BREAKING. Russian Flagship's Black Sea Fleet hit by Ukrainian Missiles Dead in Water Crew Evacuated) One unanswered question is: Was the Moskva being armed with nuclear missiles?

One of the weapons on the cruiser were SS-12 “Sandbox” anti-ship cruise missiles, which are capable of carrying a nuclear warhead of 350 kilograms.

A little less than a week after the sinking of the ship there was a strange incident.

From Forbes:

It's unclear exactly what that Russian salvage team is searching for, but it could comprise cryptological material–radios, keys and other devices that reveal secret codes. Also, any items or logs that may be interesting to an outside power.

There may be corpses, yes. The Kremlin quickly circulated footage of the survivors of the cruiser; however, the footage only showed a handful of about a hundred of the approximately 500 men that were likely onboard Moskva during the time of the sinking.

There was speculation following Moskva's loss that the cruiser contained nuclear warheads concealed in her magazines. The Pentagon official has rebutted the speculation. “We have no indications that there were nuclear weapons on board the Moskva when it went down,” they declared.

The Jerusalem Post has more:

Parts salvageable include missile tubes, sensors, and weapons. There was also a hint that a Christian Relic from the “True Cross” could be located on the ship.

Although there was speculation that the Moskva was sunk because it was carrying nuclear weapons, on Monday, a senior US defense official stated in a Pentagon press conference that they have “no indications that there were nuclear weapons on board the Moskva when it went down.”

According to Hutton, the Moskva is probably too large to allow for recovery of the hull.

“We've seen no efforts by the Russians to try to, as you put it, recover the Moskva,” stated one US defense official. “This is a cruiser of some 600 feet. That would be an enormous engineering task to try to bring that ship up to the surface. We've seen no indication that they have shown any interest in doing that.”

I'm sure everyone would think that the largest warship that has been sunk, being 1945600 feet long and displacing 11,490 tons within 300-feet of seait is not likely to be lifted. So, the question is what's the value of deploying a submersible, as well as divers, to possibly recover it? It's difficult to imagine remaining crypto equipment or electronics needing to be recovered. The notion that traditional ammunition or missile tubes would be worthy of this amount of effort is absurd. Equally absurd is the idea that Russians would try to retrieve body parts from the wreckage. There is no way to recover bodies from the wreckage. The Black Sea is a closed environment, and ships that enter have to go via The Straits, and Moskva's wreck is located a mere distance from the main Russian naval base in Sebastopol. Monitoring of vessels that enter the Black Sea and the wreck site can provide a guarantee of security for the foreseeable future. There isn't any risk that it will be the same as the Glomar Explorer going after the wreckage that was the K-129 on the ocean floor of the Pacific.

While it is impossible to exclude the possibility of bureaucratic incompetence, I think that the sum of all the facts and the circumstances suggest that there are at least two nuclear warheads buried inside the Moskva. BBC has reported that they know that the Soviets have, at the very least, two nuclear-powered submarines within Arctic waters. There's one called the K-27 located in the Kara Sea and the K-159 in the Barents Sea. They do not show any signs of leakage from radioactive sources. Furthermore, the idea that Russians were now watching Greta Thunberg and obsessing over protecting the environment is absurd. Should nuclear warheads be on their way to the Black Sea, Russia could be trying to avoid a public relations disaster in the event that Moskva can be saved in the future; however, the risk of this, as I have described previously, is not that significant. Another reason to consider could be that an element of the warhead(s) makes them easier for a third-party to acquire than anyone might imagine.

The whole thing is, obviously, speculation with one exception. There's a marine salvage vessel that has a submersible near the location of the Moskva.

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