A US aircraft was patrolling the Black Sea in the hours before the Moskva was hit by Ukrainian missiles, The Times reveals.
A Boeing P8 Poseidon was within 100 miles of the Moskva on the day the Russian cruiser sustained catastrophic damage.
Hundreds of sailors are thought to have died when the flagship of the Russian Black Sea fleet was hit by at least one Ukrainian Neptune anti-ship missile.
Its sinking has dramatically reduced the likelihood of an amphibious assault on Odesa and has dealt a blow to Russia’s capabilities in the Black Sea.
The P8, which costs about £330 million, is the most sophisticated submarine-hunting and warship-tracking plane in the US arsenal. It can drop sonobuoys over open water to detect enemy vessels.