The United States does not believe the Russian cruiser Moskva was carrying nuclear weapons at the time of its sinking, according to the latest US intelligence assessment, two senior US officials with knowledge of the intelligence tell CNN.
The US has been monitoring Russian military forces for any unusual movement of nuclear weapons and has not yet detected such movements to date.
Given the Moskva was an air defense cruiser, one senior US official added, such a deployment of nuclear weapons on board would be especially unusual.
More context: Russian state news agency TASS reported Thursday evening that the guided-missile cruiser Moskva had sunk, citing a statement from the Russian defense ministry.
Conflicting accounts have emerged about the incident.
Ukraine's Operational Command South claimed earlier on Thursday that the Moskva had begun to sink after it was hit with Ukrainian Neptune anti-ship missiles.
Russia said a fire broke out on the cruiser, causing munitions aboard to explode, inflicting serious damage to the vessel and forcing the crew of the warship to be evacuated.
CNN has not been able to independently verify what caused the damage to the ship.
CNN's Brad Lendon contributed reporting to this post.