The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Russian warship sinks; Mariupol faces key battles

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on April 13 that the U.S. supports an international genocide investigation into Russia's war on Ukraine. (Video: Reuters)

This live coverage has ended. For Friday’s live updates, click here.

The flagship of Russia’s Black Sea fleet sank after an explosion “seriously damaged” the vessel as it floated off the coast of Ukraine, Russia said Thursday, with Moscow and Kyiv offering competing claims about the cause of the destruction.

View live politics updates

Ukraine claimed it struck the ship, called the Moskva, with a Neptune missile — a move that could boost Ukrainian troop morale as Russia’s invasion stretches into its 50th day. Russia contends a fire detonated ammunition onboard the flagship. A U.S. official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive development, backed Ukraine’s version of events, confirming the strike without verifying the specific weapons system used.

Meanwhile, the Institute for the Study of War, a Washington-based think tank, said Russian forces “will likely capture Mariupol in the coming week.” The port city has been the site of heavy Russian shelling for weeks and is key to Moscow’s strategic goals.

What are war crimes, and has Russia committed genocide in Ukraine?

Here’s what to know

  • The top U.S. commander in Europe and his staff are developing training for Ukrainian forces that will teach the soldiers about an array of sophisticated weapons, an official said.
  • Russia warned Finland and Sweden that if they join NATO, Moscow will reinforce the Baltic Sea region, including by deploying nuclear weapons.
  • Two Republicans, Sen. Steve Daines (Mont.) and Rep. Victoria Spartz (Ind.), visited Kyiv on Thursday, the first U.S. lawmakers to travel to Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion.
  • Russia is accusing Ukraine’s military of striking residential buildings in a Russian village, leaving seven people injured.
  • Two children injured last week when Russian forces bombed a train station in Kramatorsk have died, raising the death toll from the attack to 59, Ukrainian officials said.
  • The Post has lifted its paywall for readers in Russia and Ukraine. Telegram users can subscribe to our channel for updates