A video released by the Russian Ministry of Defence has been exposed as fake as they try to pass off an old video of the Moskva ship crew as proof that they were alive and well
A Russian video claiming to show sailors from the doomed Moskva cruiser alive after their rescue has been exposed as fake and was in fact shot before the vessel went to war.
Vladimir Putin’s nation still refuses to acknowledge that dozens and even hundreds of missing sailors on the ship are dead after it sank on April 14.
Independent experts suggest that between dozens and hundreds died on the Moskva but Russia has officially acknowledged one death and says 37 are unaccounted for.
An investigation by Radio Liberty found clear evidence that a suspicious video published by the Russian defence ministry in the wake of the sinking, showing the crew alive and well, was indeed a fake.
The footage shows one conscript – now known to be missing in the sinking – named Sergey Grudinin, 21 from Crimea.
Tatyana Grudininina recognised her nephew Sergey in the footage which purportedly was filmed two days after sailors had been rescued from the warship, yet he is still listed as missing in the naval catastrophe.
Radio Liberty concluded: “The Russian Ministry of Defence tried to pass off an ‘old’ video from the formation of the crew [earlier this year] as the actual video of the meeting of the rescued crew.
“The ‘missing’ sailor could not be on the parade ground on April 16.”
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Other visible sailors are seen laughing – odd behaviour if they were really survivors of a tragedy in which their comrades were lost.
No crew show visible burns or wounds, even though the Russian navy admits a fire and explosion on board the Moskva which led to its demise.
It comes as a Russian father has pleaded with Putin to end the cynical lies over the sinking of the Moskva cruiser, claiming he cannot move on until he knows the truth.
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Shkrebets, 43, whose son Yegor, 20, was on board, has received an official letter from naval prosecutors saying his son was “absent somewhere unknown” and his whereabouts are “not established”.
By not admitting he is dead, or even “missing in action”, it means Shkrebets and other grieving parents cannot come to terms with their loss or claim state compensation for his loss.
Astonishingly the navy has also now told the father and other relatives that the Moskva – even though it had earlier pounded Ukraine ’s Snake Island with missiles – was not engaged in the military conflict.
The flagship “did not enter the territorial waters of Ukraine, and also was not included in the list of military units taking part in the special military operation”, brazenly claimed the prosecutor’s office.
Shkrebets has no doubt his son is dead and that the authorities are engaged in a “cynical lies” and a “cover-up” to avoid the admission that they flouted Putin’s promise and sent conscripts to their graves.
The father posted a message to Putin’s navy saying: “You will not return my son to me, criminals in uniform, but I will make you answer for what you have done, for the murder of conscript sailors on the cruiser Moskva.”
To Putin personally, he said: “I want to question our Commander-in-Chief, who is either provided with incorrect information – or misled us.
“Vladimir Vladimirovich [Putin], why did our sons die while serving on the cruiser Moskva?
“And why is the command of the fleet trying to convince us that the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet, the cruiser Moskva, was not participating at the time in the special military operation – and sank as a result of some kind of ‘onboard catastrophe’ [rather than a Ukrainian missile strike]”?
Evidence of survivors being gagged, and forbidden from revealing to parents what happened to the Moskva, has also come to light.
One conscript Gleb Lemeshev, 19, posted that when the Moskva went down “my friend and best man, Leonid Savin, a real comrade, died. Rest in peace, brother, let the sea be your cradle”.
But Savin’s family have not been officially told he is dead.
When relatives contacted Lemeshev, he told them: “I’m really sorry, but everything is watched and overheard, especially such topics.
‘As a serviceman, I cannot disclose the details of what happened. The state ordered us to keep silent.”