Russia’s only aircraft carrier caught fire on December 12 during maintenance work at a northern port in Murmansk. According to media reports, three people are missing in the incident after the fire started on the upper deck of the Admiral Kuznetsov.
Из отсеков "Адмирала Кузнецова" вырывается густой чёрный дым.— baza (@bazabazon) December 12, 2019
Пожар на авианосце потушить не удаётся. До сих пор числится пропавшим без вести один человек – командир дивизиона аварийно-спасательных работ Виктор Измайлов. pic.twitter.com/KuQeSrHRme
Originally commissioned in the Soviet Navy, the aircraft carrier is currently serving as the flagship of the Russian Navy. It was launched in 1985 and commissioned in the Russian Navy in January 1991 after the collapse of the Soviet Union. It was intended to lead the two-ship Kuznetsov class but its sister ship, Varyag, remained incomplete in 1991 and was eventually sold by Ukraine to China. Admiral Kuznetsov's main fixed-wing aircraft is Sukhoi Su-33 which can perform air superiority, fleet defence, and air support missions.
While Russia's sole aircraft carrier is facing the threat of severe damage, the United States recently christened a new aircraft carrier, named after former US President John F Kennedy, at Newport News Shipbuilding. The christening of the aircraft carrier comes at a time when China, Russia's supposed ally, is planning to build another carrier to boost its fleet. Caroline Kennedy, the former US Ambassador to Japan and former US President's daughter, christened the Ford-class aircraft carrier, John F Kennedy (CVN 79), in her father’s name for the second time.