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Russia's ice-class ship Katerina Velikaya reportedly caught fire, leaving 1 dead, 3 injured

by Kateryna Hodunova and The Kyiv Independent news desk April 8, 2024 9:21 AM 2 min read
Russia's ice navigation vessel Katerina Velikaya. (The shipbuilding complex Zvezda)
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Russia's unique ice navigation vessel Katerina Velikaya caught fire while it was under repair at the shipyard Dalzavod in Vladivostok, Primorsky Krai, Russia's Far Eastern Prosecutor's Office claimed on April 8.

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.

"Law enforcement officials are currently conducting inspections and trying to determine the circumstances of the incident," the prosecutor's office said as of 9 a.m. local time.

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.

Opinion: What’s left of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet?
Russia’s war against Ukraine is shattering the conventions of warfare in many ways. One of the most illustrative examples is the systematic destruction of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet (BSF) by Ukraine, a country that has virtually no navy of its own. The Ukrainian military’s use of coastal
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