Russia's biggest naval ship and only aircraft carrier, The Admiral Kuznetsov, has been embroiled in a corruption scandal at the shipyard where it currently is being repaired and overhauled.
TASS news agency reports that the general director of the shipyard in Murmansk was arrested in connection with the embezzlement of funds during the repair of the aircraft-carrying cruiser Admiral Kuznetsov.
"He was arrested for two months by the decision of the Oktyabrsky District Court of the city of Murmansk," the source said.
Earlier, a law enforcement source said that about ten searches were carried out in the joint-stock company "10 Order of the Red Banner of Labor Shipyard", as well as at the places of residence of a number of its senior employees. The reason was the criminal case opened against the general director of the enterprise, who is suspected of embezzling about 45 million rubles allocated for the repair of the Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union Kuznetsov cruiser.
In recent years Russia has been investing heavily in upgrading its navy. The heavy aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov is the largest ship and the only aircraft carrier of the Russian Navy. It is part of the Northern Fleet and can carry 26 aircraft and 24 helicopters on the flight deck and in the under-deck hangar. It has been used regularly by Russia for power projection in the Mediterranean and other parts of the world. Technical problems with the ship have, however, also sometimes caused some embarrassing moments.
Named after a former head of the Soviet navy, the Admiral Kuznetsov has been plagued by years of technical problems, and is often seen belching smoke. Media reports in the past suggested that the vessel's steam turbines and turbo-pressurised boilers have been reported to be so unreliable that the carrier is accompanied by a large ocean-going tug whenever it deploys, in case it breaks down. There are also flaws in the water piping system, which causes it to freeze during winter. To prevent pipes bursting, the water is turned off to most of the cabins, and half the latrines do not work.
It seems, however, that even when it is under repair, the troubles of the Admiral Kuznetsov are not over.