Kyiv claims Russian warship Admiral Levchenko was on fire. Northern Fleet says it was exercising with hypersonic missiles


Little is known about what actually happened with the 36 year old Udaloy class vessel during a recent exercise in the Barents Sea.

According to Dmytro Pletenchuk, a spokesperson for the Ukrainian Armed Forces, a serious fire broke out in the ship’s engine compartment.

“The struggle for survivability continues, we hope it will be useless,” he wrote on his Facebook page on the 10th of June.

The Northern Fleet’s press office did not issue any official comment about the situation and the heavily censored regional media kept silent.

Three days after the alleged fire, the Northern Fleet newspaper Na Strazhe Zapolyare issued a photo of a ship resembling the Admiral Levchenko. The photo shows no visible damage. It is taken in the Arctic midnight sun and has a short accompanying text that reads “A golden night in June.”

Interestingly, the picture shows the vessel without its pennant number (“605”), the identification number normally painted on the ship sides. It indicates that the number is either painted over or erased by photo editors.


Photos of the Admiral Levchenko taken after the alleged fire show the ship without its pennant number. Photo: Na Strazhe Zapolyare


On the 26th of June, as much as 16 days after the reported incident, the Northern Fleet follows up with a press release about the destroyer.

According to the fleet, the Admiral Levchenko has taken part in an air defence exercise in the Barents Sea. Applied in the training were artillery systems, as well as the ship’s Kinzhal hypersonic ballistic missile complexes. Parachuted objects were used as aerial targets, the Navy informs in the Na Strazhe Zapolyare.

The ship is reported to take part in so-called anti-sabotage training before it returns to base.

The press service offers no information about any fire and a photo shows no damage. Also this photo is without the ship pennant number

At the time of the alleged fire, the Admiral Levchenko was sailing together with her sister-vessel Vice Admiral Kulakov

A fire onboard the warship could potentially have had serious consequences. The Admiral Levchenko is heavily armed with torpedos and air missiles, as well as rocket launchers.

Including the Kinzhal missiles.

The destroyer is 36 years and normally has a crew of 200-300 sailors.