Spontaneous combustion for the win!

You know that Russian flagship that mysteriously caught fire yesterday? Well, it sank.

The flagship of Russia’s Black Sea fleet sank after an attack from Ukrainian forces triggered a “significant explosion” as the vessel floated off the coast of Ukraine, U.S. officials said Thursday, with Moscow offering a competing claim about the cause of the destruction.

The alternative explanation from Moscow (which has acknowledged that it sank) is that…it caught fire.

Personally, I think the Ukrainian military has been drafting gremlins.

Suddenly, we’re in the passive voice

Russian media made a quiet announcement.

Ammunition detonated on the Moskva missile cruiser, the Defense Ministry said.

“As a result of a fire, ammunition detonated on the Moskva missile cruiser. The ship was seriously damaged,” the statement said.

The crew was completely evacuated. The reasons for the incident are being established.

Ah, yes. There was a fire in a warship during a war. We don’t know how the fire could have gotten there. We’re going to have to investigate. Very puzzling. Spontaneous combustion? Gremlins? Who knows?

It’s still floating! It hasn’t sunk! We are inwincible!

Moscow’s defence ministry said the Moskva missile cruiser was still afloat and its main weaponry had not been damaged.

Gosh. We many never know what happened except…

Russian and Ukraine agree that the Russian missile cruiser Moskva, its Black Sea flagship, was taken out of commission on Wednesday, but there’s no agreement on how that happened. Russian state-run media, citing the Defense Ministry, said “ammunition detonated as a result of a fire on the Moskva missile cruiser,” the ship “was seriously damaged,” and “the entire crew” of 510 was evacuated. Hours earlier, the governor of Odessa said Ukraine had hit the ship with Neptune anti-ship missiles and inflicted “very serious damage.”

Either way, “one of the Russian Navy’s most important warships is either floating abandoned or at the bottom of the Black Sea, a massive blow to a military struggling against Ukrainian resistance 50 days into Vladimir Putin’s invasion of his neighbor,” CNN reports. And “whatever the reason for the fire, the analysts say it strikes hard at the heart of the Russian navy as well as national pride, comparable to the U.S. Navy losing a battleship during World War II or an aircraft carrier today.”

I don’t know about you, but I am persuaded by the side using the active voice and providing a reasonable causal agent.