Rear Admiral Oleksiy Neizhpapa has been elevated to the rank of Vice Admiral, according to a statement from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s office.
A U.S. official had told Fox News on Friday that the latest assessment by the U.S. is that the Moskva was struck by two Ukrainian missiles before it sank.
Rear Admiral Oleksiy Neizhpapa, commander of the Ukrainian Naval Forces, speaks during the opening ceremony for the Sea Breeze multinational maritime exercise in the Kherson Region of Ukraine in June 2021.
(Press service of the Ukrainian Naval Forces/Handout via REUTERS)
“Everyone knows what a lightning operation!” Victoria Strakhova, an adviser to Zelenskyy, wrote in a Facebook post praising Neizhpapa for the promotion.
“Adviser to the head of the OP Victoria Strakhova wrote on Facebook that the decision was made in view of the ‘brilliant operation’ that everyone already knows about,” added Anton Gerashchenko, an official at Ukraine’s Ministry of Internal Affairs.
“Congratulations and we wish further no less brilliant operations!” Gerashchenko also wrote in a Telegram post about Neizhpapa.
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.
(AP Photo, File)
The U.S. believes the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea navy was roughly 60 nautical miles south of Odesa at the time of an explosion Thursday.
Moscow has claimed the ship sank after a fire on board caused an explosion.
The Russian Navy’s guided missile cruiser Moskva sails in the Bosphorus, on its way to the Mediterranean Sea, in Istanbul, Turkey in June 2021.
U.S. officials also said Friday it is unclear how many Russian sailors may have been killed in the attack due to lack of satellite imagery.
The officials said it is believed that two Ukrainian Neptune anti-ship cruise missiles were used in the operation.
Fox News’ Mark Meredith and Liz Friden contributed to this report.