Russia's large landing ship Orsk has suffered serious damage off the Syrian coast and is only able to move with the help of a tugboat, reports the Russian news outlet Avia.pro.
The publication notes that, at the moment, it is not clear where exactly the incident could have happened - in the Mediterranean Sea off the Syrian coast or when the ship was passing through the Bosphorus.
The publication writes that the Russian Navy has not yet commented on the information about the damage at Orsk, and notes that there are a variety of versions on social networks as to why the ship is being towed. Some social media users even believe that this was caused by sabotage on board the ship.
According to the publication, the probable version of the incident is a technical malfunction of Orsk’s power plant.
In mid-December, the ship reportedly delivered vehicles, weapons and ammunition to Syria.
The Turkish blogger, Yoruk Isik, who monitors ship traffic through the Bosphorus, published the photos of Orsk as it was being towed through the Bosphorus.
Back from Tartus #Syria but broken down⚠️Engine failure: #ВМФ Project 745 BSF #ЧФ 145th Resue Ship Squad/1st group’s Sorum class rescue tug MB304 towed#ВМФ Project 1171 #ЧФ BSF 197th Assault Ship Brigade’s Tapir (NATO:Alligator) class LST Orsk through Bosphorus towards BlackSea pic.twitter.com/HTu6EeVDgt— Yörük Işık (@YorukIsik) January 3, 2020
This is not the only case when a Russian Navy ship got damaged. Last April, a large landing ship of the Russian Navy Caesar Kunikov had to be towed to the base in Crimea. The ship had problems with its steering system.
"On April 18, 2019, when returning to its base after the naval exercises, the large landing ship Caesar Kunikov of the Black Sea Fleet experienced a technical malfunction with the steering device," said in a statement the Information Department of the Black Sea Fleet, as quoted by TASS.
The problem was discovered as the ship was passing Cape Khersones.
Caesar Kunikov has repeatedly made long voyages to the Mediterranean Sea, visiting the Syrian port of Tartus.