‘Terror Attack’ On Admiral Kuznetsov Aircraft Carrier Foiled; Ukrainian Intel Agency Behind The Ploy – Russia

The Russian intelligence agency, FSB, has reportedly foiled an attempt by Ukrainian military intelligence to attack Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier. This was reported by the FSB Public Relations Center.

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As noted by the Center for Public Relations and quoted by Tass News Agency, “In March 2024, a citizen of Russia born in 2000, serving on an aircraft carrier, was contacted via foreign Internet messengers WhatsApp and Telegram by an employee of the Ukrainian special services, who introduced himself as “Oleg.” During telephone conversations, he used psychological pressure – from promises to ensure travel abroad with forged documents and payment of a large reward to threats of criminal liability for financing the Armed Forces of Ukraine on fabricated grounds – to persuade the serviceman to commit a terrorist attack on a military ship.

“After the officer contacted the security agencies, further measures were taken under their full control as part of the operational game to document the illegal activities of “Oleg” and identify possible agents and accomplices of the Kyiv regime,” the FSB reported. “At the same time, “Oleg” claimed that the entire “operation” was personally supervised by the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Kirill Budanov,” the Center for Public Relations noted. 

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The Ukrainian special service sent the missing components to assemble the incendiary device to the serviceman through a transport and logistics company.

“He was assured that immediately after receiving a video recording confirming the attack on the aircraft carrier, he would be evacuated to Finland and documents and money prepared for him waiting for him in the border area,” the Center for Public Relations noted.

“At the same time, as expected, after receiving a video recording of a staged terrorist attack on Admiral Kuznetsov under the guise of scheduled exercises to check the readiness of personnel to act on a fire alarm, the curator turned off the means of communication and deleted the accounts used in messengers.”

The Investigative Department of the UFSB for the Northern Fleet has opened a criminal case against “Oleg” and other unidentified persons under Part 1.1 of Article 205.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (incitement, recruitment or other involvement of a person in the commission of a terrorist crime), which provides for up to life imprisonment.

“All organizers and accomplices of the crimes, including foreign citizens, have been declared wanted and will be brought to criminal responsibility in accordance with Russian legislation,” the FSB emphasized.

On July 10, the FSB also detained a Russian recruited by the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine, who was preparing a terrorist attack against three high-ranking military personnel of the Russian Ministry of Defense.

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Admiral Kuznetsov — The Cursed Aircraft Carrier

Admiral Kuznetsov has had a troubled history. It has long been the only large aircraft carrier cruiser in the Russian Navy. Introduced in 1985, it joined the Russian Northern Fleet in 1991.

Admiral Kuznetsov
Admiral Kuznetsov

In 1995, Kuznetsov was on active duty in the Mediterranean. From 2007 to 2008, as the head of a detachment of ships, it also traveled to the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.

In 2016-2017, the warship performed combat missions off the coast of Syria as part of the operational formation of ships in the Mediterranean Sea.

The pilots of the air group carried out more than 400 sorties, hitting over 1,200 terrorist targets. After returning from the campaign, the ship was sent for repairs and modernization.

Even before 2017, Admiral Kuznetsov had experienced a fair number of mishaps. For instance, an onboard fire off the coast of Turkey in 2009 resulted in the loss of several crew members, and in late 2016, two of its fighter jets were lost while assisting in combat operations in Syria.

Several serious incidents have earned the carrier the moniker of a cursed carrier since it was sent for an overhaul in 2017. In October 2018, the floating dock PD-50 sank underneath the ship.

The ship was damaged by the fall of a dock crane but managed to remain afloat. It was then towed to the berth of the 35th shipyard in Severomorsk, where it was subsequently repaired.

In December 2019, a fire broke out on board the aircraft carrier. During welding work, a spark entered the hold, spilling fuel. Two people died, and 14 were injured. Another fire was reported on board at the end of last year. However, it was doused, and there were no casualties.

In February of this year, the head of the United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC), Alexei Rakhmanov, said that the ship had been taken out of the dock and put into a place of permanent repair. According to the head of the USC, the aircraft carrier should return to the combat fleet next year.