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«Over 500 crew on board, 200 in hospital, where are rest?» Mother of missing conscript says truth about Moskva crew is being covered up

The mother of Egor Shkrebets, a conscripted sailor who had served on the cruiser Moscow and went missing, told The Insider she and her husband were at a hospital in Rocky Bay, where the wounded from the cruiser were brought. There were about 200 injured sailors, she said. In all, according to Schkrebets' mother, there had been over 500 people on board the ship.

«We looked at every burnt kid. I can't tell you how hard it was, but I couldn't find mine. There were only two hundred people, and there were more than five hundred on board the cruiser. Where were the others? We looked in Krasnodar, and everywhere else, we called every place, but we couldn't find him», Irina Shkrebets said.

Yegor Shkrebets served as a cook on the Moskva, doing active duty. «They were on combat duty, cooking meals. Since taking the oath on August 14, he had been on board the ship.» The first time he called his parents after the war began, telling them they had taken Snake Island. The last time, according to his mother, her son contacted her via Viber messenger on April 9: he said he would not be in touch, writing from another person's number.

After the reports that the cruiser had sunk, Yegor's and other conscripts' parents began searching for information about the survivors and the dead. According to Irina Shkrebets, they were not allowed anywhere. «We went to the unit, the commander came out, made a helpless gesture and said, «I won't tell you anything.» I said, «Where is my son?» and he said, «Well, somewhere at sea.» My husband became indignant: «What do you mean, at sea? Where have you been?» - «I was in totally another place.» Those commanders were not on the ship. According to Shkrebets, one of them is Pavel Borisovich Vakula (deputy commander of the ship, captain of the 3rd rank), the other is Roman Dmitrievich, surname and rank unknown.

According to Irina, the parents, tried to contact the FSB as well. «We came to the FSB headquarters in Sevastopol, but nobody came out to meet us - they were standing behind the fence, my husband shouted: «Come out and call the police. Let me beat your face in.» He didn't even come out, he just crossed his arms behind the bars, as if saying goodbye, and that was it. That's the Navy and the FSB of Sevastopol for you», Irina said. According to her, they wanted to familiarize themselves with the list of the killed and missing in action, but no agency gave them the lists.

Irina was also contacted by a commander who had been on the ship: «I said, «Can you at least tell me how my son died?» and he said, «I don't know anything, they were at the supply station. We had missiles all over the cruiser.» He couldn't say and somehow avoided saying a missile had hit the ship.»

Information about Yegor Shkrebets was published on Vkontakte by his father Dmitry Shkrebets. He said his son was not on the list of those killed and wounded. «My son is a conscript, as I was told by the commanders of the Moskva cruiser he is not listed among the dead and wounded and is included in the list of those missing in action. A conscript, who was not supposed to take part in combat operations, is listed as missing in action. You see, missing on the high seas?!!!», writes Shkrebets.

In his post, the father of the conscript also mentions he tried to contact the commander of the cruiser or his deputy, but after Shkrebets attempted to learn more about the incident, they broke contact. «I asked directly: why are you, the officers, alive while my son, a conscript, has died?» the post reads.

Earlier, the Agency publication reported another missing conscript who had served on the Moskva cruiser. According to the report the Vkontakte user Ulyana Tarasova wrote her son Mark was missing after the sinking of the cruiser. The journalists also found Mark's Instagram page where he had published his photo wearing a sailor uniform.

Novaya Gazeta Europe spoke to the mother of a sailor who served on the Moskva cruiser. According to her, «about forty people were killed on it, several people went missing, and a lot of people were wounded. The newspaper's interlocutor also said that «the cruiser was hit from the land, from the Ukrainian side.» «Most of the wounded had lost their limbs, because there had been explosions caused by both detonated munitions and rocket hits,» she said. The sailor's mother suggests the Russian authorities are covering up the information about the dead «because the Defense Ministry doesn't want to admit a defeat from Ukraine. It doesn't want to admit such a cruiser was wrecked.»

On April 16, the Russian Defense Ministry showed a video of the crew of the sunken Moskva cruiser meeting with Admiral Nikolay Yevmenov, Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy. There are about 100 sailors on the video. Next to Yevmenov (center in the photo) is the captain of the Moskva Anton Kuprin, reported dead by the Ukrainian media. The commander of the Black Sea Fleet, Admiral Igor Osipov, was not at the meeting, Ukrainian intelligence reported he had been arrested immediately after the sinking of the cruiser. Officially, the Defense Ministry did not announce the number of rescued crew members. Oleksiy Arestovych, adviser to the head of the Ukrainian presidential office, said there might have been 510 sailors on the ship. The media quoted different data about the number of crew members - from 500 to over 700 people.

On the evening of April 13, the Ukrainian authorities said the Russian cruiser Moskva had been hit by Neptun missiles. A fire broke out on the ship, which was in the Black Sea south of Odessa. On the evening of April 14, the Defense Ministry said the cruiser sank while being towed to port «due to hull damage sustained during the fire from the detonation of ammunition.» The crew was reportedly evacuated to the Black Sea Fleet ships stationed in the area.

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