The Kremlin is not authorized to discuss the sunken cruiser Moskva, the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet. A spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin said this on Tuesday.
The Kremlin also says it cannot release details about the fate of the crew members, despite calls from family members for information.
“All communication goes through the Ministry of Defense. We are not allowed to release anything,” said the spokesperson.
The Moskva went down last week after an explosion of ammunition on board, according to the Kremlin. Ukraine said it drove the ship to the basement by direct hits from two missiles. Russia has said more than 500 crew members have been rescued after the blast on Wednesday. Ukraine, however, maintained that there were fatalities, including the captain of the warship.
Parents and other family members of several crew members have announced on social media and through statements to Russian and foreign media that they will not have any contact with their children. They demand that the truth come out.
Meduza, an independent Russian-language news site, quoted a source close to the Black Sea commander as saying that at least 37 Moskva crew members were killed. Hundreds of others are said to have been injured, and an unknown number are still missing.