Russian Spy Ship Sinks Off The Coast Of Turkey After Collision


The Russian spy ship, The Liman, has sunk off the Turkish coast after a collision with a freight-carrying vessel.

The Turkish coastal authority is reporting, in a statement, that all the crew on board the vessel have been rescued.

Russia confirmed, prior to the sinking, that the Liman had suffered a breach to its hull, but that the crew was working hard to keep it afloat.

The cause of the collision, which involved a Togo-flagged boat carrying livestock, is unclear but fog had previously been reported in the area.

Credit: PA

The spy ship is part of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet (BSF) – an historic strategic wing of Russia’s navy which has been stationed in the Black and Mediterranean seas since the late 18th century.

Turkey’s Prime Minister, Binali Tildirim, is reported to have called his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev, to express his sadness over the collision.

The BSF passes through the Bosphorus Strait, a split in land which separates European Turkey from Asia, for deployments in the Mediterranean and notably at this current time, Syria.

The strait is not man-made and has been part of the Istanbul set-up for many years with its importance for trade internationally recognised.

The Bosphorus Strait. Credit: PA

The Liman collided with the Youzarsif H freighter 18 miles from the Turkish town of Kilyos on the Black Sea coast, just north of Istanbul, and had sunk by 11:48 GMT.

According to the Russian Interfax news agency, the BSF said the Russian crew had followed all the rules of sailing and manoeuvring and it suggested the incident had been caused by the other ship.

Admiral Viktor Kravchenko, a former commander of the fleet, told Interfax that the event was ‘out of the ordinary’.

Credit: Twitter

He added: “There have been collisions but I do not remember a case like this, of a vessel, a warship sinking after it.”

The ship was built in Gdansk, Poland, in the 1970s, with its initial purpose as a hydrographic survey vessel. However, by the late 1980s it was converted for military use – particularly outfitted for signals intelligence.

In 1999, the ship made international headlines when it was sent to the Mediterranean to monitor NATO operations against Yugoslavia – a former Soviet state.

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