The surviving sailors of Russia’s sunken Moskva battleship could be deployed into battle again this month, the independent Novaya Gazeta newspaper reported Tuesday.
According to a letter the outlet said was authored by the sailors’ parents, 49 conscripts who were rescued from the Moskva have been assigned to the Ladny missile frigate. They could go out to sea as soon as June 30 despite promises to keep them on land, it added.
“Our children, who are conscripts, have already been unlawfully involved in the special military operation on the Moskva cruiser and received psychological traumas as a result of the accident,” Novaya Gazeta quoted the letter as saying.
“We consider it unacceptable to re-enlist those who have experienced a psychologically traumatic situation to participate in combat operations.”
The letter was reportedly addressed to Russia’s presidential human rights commissioner, the military prosecutor in annexed Crimea and the Committee of Soldiers’ Mothers NGO.
Its authors expressed concern that the Ladny, which was commissioned by the Soviet Black Sea Fleet in 1981, is unsuitable for navigation and requires repairs, Novaya Gazeta reported.
The sailors’ parents requested an inspection into the missile frigate’s rumored participation in what Russia calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine.
The Moskva guided missile cruiser was an elite ship in Russia’s Black Sea Fleet capable of carrying nuclear missiles with a maximum crew capacity of about 510 sailors.
The Moskva sank in the Black Sea on April 13 after reportedly being struck by a Ukrainian missile. Russia, which said its ship sank due to an accidental fire onboard, had reported that one crew member died and 27 were missing.
Independent media investigations placed the death toll at around 40 and 100 wounded.
President Vladimir Putin initially denied that conscripts had been deployed in the Ukrainian campaign, only to admit their presence on the battlefield a day later.