Russia’s Defense Ministry released a brief video on Saturday of the head of the Navy meeting with crew members of the sunken warship Moskva, as social media posts have surfaced that appear to confirm at least one death on board.
In a 26-second video—the first public appearance of the crew since Moscow admitted the country’s most powerful battleship had sunk—Admiral Nikolai Yevmenov is seen meeting with crew members in Sevastopol. About 100 sailors can be seen, although at least 500 were on board at the time the ship went down after Ukrainian officials said they successfully struck it with at least one Neptune missile.
Moscow, which admitted the ship had been “badly damaged” but blamed it on an explosion of ammunition on board, has claimed all crew members were rescued without providing any details on their whereabouts after the disaster.
Ukrainian authorities have said some of the crew of the ship that was famously told, “Go fuck yourself” by a Ukrainian serviceman did not survive.
At least one crew member appears to have been publicly mourned on the Russian networking site Odnoklassniki, according to a Saturday report by the Ukrainian service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
In a post by a woman identified as his widow, Ivan Vakhrushev was said to have “died fulfilling his duty” on the ship. “He fought to his last breath for the life of the ship,” the post read.
The news outlet reports that the woman, Varvara Vakhrusheva, confirmed in follow-up correspondence that her husband, who was responsible for the ship’s operational safety, died on board.
“They discovered his body,” she was quoted telling the outlet, adding that she had been informed by military command.
At least 27 other crew members of the ship were still unaccounted for, she said.
Russia’s Defense Ministry, meanwhile, said in a statement on Telegram on Saturday that all crew members of the ship would “continue to serve in the Navy,” but did not comment on the fate of the hundreds of sailors who appeared to be missing from the Sevastopol photo-op.