A Russian warship that was evacuated in the Black Sea on Wednesday was one of the vessels involved in the famous exchange at Snake Island in February, according to a Ukrainian presidential adviser.
The island was hit by Russian missile strikes after Ukrainian defenders responded to the threat of Russian invasion with the words: “Russian warship, go f*** yourself.”
Some context: Conflicting reports have emerged from the Russians and Ukrainians about the incident onboard the Moskva on Wednesday. Russia said in state media the cruiser was evacuated after a fire onboard detonated ammunition. The Odesa state regional administrator claimed it was hit by Ukrainian missiles. CNN is unable to independently verify what took place.
However, comments from Oleksiy Arestovych, adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenksy, suggest there is confusion over what occurred.
"There's a big fire ... The sea is stormy so it’s unknown whether it’ll be possible to get them help. There are 510 crew members there. We can’t figure out what happened, either two sailors were smoking in the wrong place, or once again certain safety measures were violated," Arestovych said.
The ship is currently in the Black Sea basin, he added.
Regarding the February Snake Island incident, Arestovych confirmed the Moskva was involved. "Yes specifically this one, it was firing at the defenders. It’s the flagship of the (Russian) navy," he said.