On Thursday, a Russian naval intelligence ship sank in the black sea after a collision with a merchant freighter near the coast of Turkey. A Turkish coastal official told Reuters that all 78 crew members of the Russian Liman ship were brought to safety before it sank.
The Russian Defense Ministry issued a statement saying that the Liman went down due to a hole in the hull below the waterline and that the crew was alive.
“All crew members of the research ship of the Black Sea Fleet are alive and well and are currently preparing for evacuation from the Turkish rescue ship to a Russian ship,” the Defense Ministry said.
The Youzarif H freighter, a Togo-flagged ship filled with 8,800 sheep headed from Romania to Jordan, was unharmed other than slight damage to the hull.
Anadoli, Turkey’s semiofficial news agency, said that Turkey’s Prime Minister Binali Yildirim called Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to express “sadness.”
Reuters reported that at the time of the collision the Bosporus Straight, which connects the Mediterranean to the Black Sea, was closed due to poor visibility. The collision occurred about 20 miles northwest of it.
According to the Washington Post, Russian officials did not immediately provide any information about the Liman’s mission.
According to RT, the Liman was built during Soviet times and was commissioned in 1970. It is mostly unarmed but “carries a radar station, a hydroacoustic detector and other reconnaissance equipment needed to track surface ships and submarines.”