A bribed Russian Navy captain revealed the location of Putin’s newest warship to Ukrainians.
Before Ukraine hit it with missiles, a Russian Navy captain “accepted a $1,500 bribe to disclose the location of Putin’s newest war ship” in Crimea.
The location of Russian dictator Putin’s newest battleship was allegedly bribed for by Russian navy captain Alexander Ermolenko, which allowed Ukraine to hit it with long-range missiles. The Askold ship is a carrier of Kalibr cruise missiles that Russia uses to bombard Ukrainian cities.
Ukrainian missiles heavily damaged the $110 million Russian warship in Crimea.
Videos showed three strikes on the Askold ship, the most sophisticated battleship in Moscow’s Black Sea Fleet. The missile carrier is said to be irreparably damaged.
Ukrainian Telegram channels claim that a Russian captain sold Kyiv information on the location of the warship in a shipyard in Kerch, east of Russian-annexed Crimea, via a social media messenger.
Alexander Ermolenko was named captain of the Russian Buyan-M class-guided missile ship Ingushetia 630. He is accused of negotiating to raise the price for his “service” from $1,000 to $1,500.
Telegram groups Russian Soldiers and Crimean Wind did not explain how the Black Sea Fleet captain, if true, came to be interacting with Ukrainian spies.
While purportedly bargaining in a text chat, the “captain” says of a payment in US dollars, “It’s not enough.” If I have to risk 1000, it is insufficient.
- He tells his Ukrainian operator, supposedly referring to the 197ft-long Askold, “It’s here – when do you plan to ‘work’ on it…?”
- “Don’t wait too long; they might move it somewhere else.”
- “I guarantee only where it is right now.”
It is unclear whether Ermolenko is being probed in Russia. Neither he nor Russian officials have reacted to the charge.
Both parties have also declined to comment on the claim that Ermolenko revealed the coordinates of the Zaliv shipyard, also known as Butoma, in social media postings.
Ermolenko was born in Sevastopol, Crimea. He is considered a “war criminal” by Ukraine. During Russia’s war of aggression, his ship is said to have fired deadly Kalibr missiles against Ukrainian cities.
His wife, Viktoria, is from the Ukrainian Kharkiv region. The couple has two children.
The Askold will be unable to embark “on combat duty soon,” according to Natalia Humeniuk, spokesman for Ukraine’s Southern Operational Command.
Perhaps the Russian officer decided to cooperate with the Ukrainian side because he was having nightmares about the dead Ukrainian citizens, Ukrainian journalists wrote.
On November 4, powerful explosions were heard in Crimea. Cruise missiles (probably SCALP) attacked the infrastructure of the Zatoka shipyard in Kerch, and the Askold was hit. The damage to the ship can be seen on satellite images.
Photo Credit: East2West