Russia’s Sole Aircraft Carrier Catches Fire in Northern Port


Russia‘s only aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov, caught fire on Thursday during maintenance work in Russia‘s Arctic port in Murmansk, with five people reportedly injured, Russian news agencies reported.

One source told the state-run TASS news agency that the fire had started on the upper deck and that thick, black smoke was billowing from the vessel. The area of the fire has reached 600 square meters, Interfax reported.

Six people have been injured, TASS cited a source in the regional disaster medicine center as saying.

The Baza Telegram channel reported that firefighters are struggling to get the fire under control as the thick smoke prevents them from reaching the source of the flames.

The Admiral Kuznetsov has had a troubled history since it was buit and launched by the Soviet Union in 1985. It has been undergoing repairs at a shipyard near Murmansk following combat operations in Syria, where it was blighted by problems and lost two aircraft due to malfunctions with the carrier’s arresting gear.

The additional repairs were not expected to affect the Admiral Kuznetsov’s return into service in 2022, Russia’s state-owned United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) said two days before the fire erupted. It was not immediately clear when or whether the ill-fated aircraft carrier would return to the Russian Navy.