Sunken Russian ship hit by missile, US official says

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — A senior U.S. defense official says the U.S. believes the Russian guided-missile cruiser that sank Thursday in the northern Black Sea was struck by at least one Ukrainian anti-ship missile, as claimed by the Kyiv government.

Pentagon officials had previously said they could not confirm the Ukrainian claim, but they also did not refute it.

The senior U.S. defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an intelligence assessment, said the Moskva was hit Wednesday by at least one, and probably two, Neptune missiles, creating the large fire aboard the vessel.

The official offered no further details beyond saying the U.S. believes the Russians suffered some number of casualties aboard the ship.

<p>The Russian missile cruiser Moskva, the flagship of Russia's Black Sea Fleet, is seen anchored in the Black Sea port of Sevastopol on Sept. 11, 2008.</p>

AP Photo

The Russian missile cruiser Moskva, the flagship of Russia's Black Sea Fleet, is seen anchored in the Black Sea port of Sevastopol on Sept. 11, 2008.