Russia’s ice-class navigation ship Katerina Velikaya caught fire, leaving one dead and three injured

Russia’s unique ice navigation vessel Katerina Velikaya caught fire on April 8 while being repaired at the shipyard Dalzavod in Vladivostok, Primorsky Krai, Russia’s Far Eastern Prosecutor’s Office claimed.

The fire reportedly started at around 3:00 a.m. local time and was put out six hours later. One person was killed, and three others were hospitalized due to the fire, according to the local prosecutor’s office.

As of 9 a.m. local time, the prosecutor’s office said, “Law enforcement officials are currently conducting inspections and trying to determine the circumstances of the incident.”

ice navigation vessel Katerina Velikaya

Katerina Velikaya, built in 2020, is an Icebreaker 7-class vessel that can operate in the conditions of the Arctic Circle and travel through ice thickness up to 2.5 meters.

Katerina Velikaya can carry out various tasks, such as transporting cargo in sea ice conditions, setting the anchor on other vessels, escorting and rescuing ships, eliminating oil spills and external fires, and monitoring the ice sheet.

Several weeks ago, Russia reportedly lost the military landing ship Konstantin Olshansky, which was hit by a Neptune missile, according to Ukraine’s Navy spokesperson Dmytro Pletenchuk. It was one of many Ukrainian ships seized by Russian forces during the annexation of Crimea in 2014.

In recent months, Ukraine has intensified its attacks on Russia’s Black Sea Fleet targets in occupied Crimea, successfully targeting several ships and forcing Russian forces to redeploy to safer waters.

The Strategic Communications Center of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (StratCom) recently reported that as of early February 2024, 33% of the fleet’s warships had been disabled, including 24 ships and one submarine.

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