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Russia’s only aircraft carrier catches fire

The Admiral Kuznetsov, which is undergoing lengthy repair works, has been out of commission since 2017

A minor blaze has occurred on board Russia’s only aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov cruiser, the state-owned United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) revealed on Thursday.

“There was a small accident during the repair works. The fire is extinguished. All relevant fire-suppression systems worked properly. There was no damage or casualties,” the head of the USC, Alexey Rakhmanov, told RIA Novosti. 

The accident comes shortly after the corporation announced that dockyard repairs of the ship had been completed and the vessel was expected to return to the country’s Navy next year. 


“Dockyard works are almost complete, and now we just have to get ready to re-float it. It will happen within a few days,” Rakhmanov told the Rossiya 24 TV channel last week. It was not immediately clear whether the fire had affected such plans. 

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The blaze is the latest event in the string of accidents that have plagued the vessel, which was originally built in the 1980s, since it was docked for refitting and upgrade. The carrier – designated in Russia as an aircraft-carrying cruiser, thanks to its advanced missile armaments – has been out of commission since 2017. 

In 2018, the deck of the Admiral Kuznetsov was damaged by a crane that fell when a floating dock sank while the vessel was being serviced. The following year, it suffered from a major fire caused by welding near a fuel spill inside the carrier’s belly. The blaze on board raged for nearly a day, with more than ten people injured and two killed. 


In September of last year, the USC reported further delays due to the need to repair all four gas turbines powering the carrier. An earlier assessment had suggested that only one of the units needed repairs.

December 23, 2022 at 01:36AM

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