Moskva missile cruiser
Moskva missile cruiser REUTERS/Alexey Pavlishak/File Photo

Ukrainian forces damaged a Russian warship in the Black Sea with missile strikes Wednesday, the governor of Odessa said, according to AFP.

"Neptune missiles guarding the Black Sea caused very serious damage to the Russian ship. Glory to Ukraine!" governor Maksym Marchenko wrote on Telegram.

Ukrainian presidential advisor Oleksiy Arestovych said that "a surprise happened with the flagship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet", the Moskva.

"It burns strongly. Right now. And with this stormy sea it is unknown whether they will be able to receive help. There are 510 crew members. We don't understand what happened," he said in a video posted to YouTube.

The Russian Interfax news agency later quoted the Russian Defense Ministry as having confirmed that the Moskva was badly damaged after ammunition on board blew up, though it did not say that the ship was attacked by Ukraine.

Interfax said the crew had all been evacuated and the cause of the fire was being investigated.