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Unlike Moskva cruiser, Moskva sailors were part of special military operation, Russian Defense Ministry admits

Military unit 84201, whose sailors served on the sunken Moskva cruiser, has been included in the list of participants in the “special military operation”, as stated in the response of the Black Sea Fleet Prosecutor’s Office to Gulnaz Urazaeva, the mother of a wounded sailor, Mediazona reports.

A photo of the document was published by the Military Ombudsman Telegram channel. Its authenticity has been confirmed to Mediazona by Urazaeva herself. The document, signed by Vadim Mikhailov, head of the supervisory department, says that the Defense Ministry added the military unit to the list “to ensure the possibility of social rights and guarantees, as well as the receipt of payments by the crew of the ship and their family members.” But the Prosecutor’s answer does not specify when the unit was added to the list.

Yet so far neither the Prosecutor’s Office nor the Defense Ministry has admitted that the cruiser Moskva took part in the war with Ukraine. The prosecutorial inspection, the document says, has found that “the ship on which Urazaeva’s son was serving” was “not part of the armed forces (troops) involved in the special military operation” and “was in neutral waters at the time of the accident.”

Gulnaz Urazaeva is the mother of Bulat Shakirzyanov, a sailor from Naberezhnye Chelny, who was wounded on the Moskva cruiser. He has been under treatment for over a month in the Naval Academy in St. Petersburg. According to his mother, Shakirzyanov underwent three operations, including a nerve transplant.

Urazaeva sent an application to the Prosecutor’s Office demanding an investigation into the fact that her son received multiple wounds while serving on the cruiser.

The flagship of the Black Sea Fleet, the cruiser Moskva, sank on April 13. The Ukrainian side said the ship had been hit by missiles. However, the Russian Defense Ministry said that the cruiser's “ammunition had detonated”, which resulted in a fire, and then the ship sank “in the conditions of stormy waves” while being towed to the port. The ministry also claimed that “the entire crew had been evacuated.”

Later, the Defense Ministry reported one sailor dead and 27 missing. However, families of at least ten conscripts who served on the Moskva still cannot find any information about their missing sons. The authorities not only conceal information about the dead, but also put pressure on the sailors' families.

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