Turkish 'sadness' after Russian navy ship sinks

Turkish 'sadness' after Russian navy ship sinks

Turkish 'sadness' after Russian navy ship sinks

A Russian military reconnaissance ship sank Thursday in the Black Sea following a collision with a cargo ship, an incident that underscores the generally exhausted state of the Russian navy.

The ship, abandoned by its crew, sank later in the morning.

Turkish media said about 78 people were on the Liman and had to be evacuated. However, widespread media reports said the Togo-flagged Youzarsif-H, carrying almost 9,000 sheep from Romania en route to Jordan, was actually the other vessel involved in the incident.

The Defense Ministry said a hole was punched in the starboard side of the Liman during the collision, which occurred around midday Thursday about 40 kilometers (25 miles) northwest of the Bosphorus Strait. Anadolu said weather conditions were foggy.

Turkey's coastal safety authority said the ship sank after colliding with a Togo-flagged livestock vessel. The incident is said to have been caused by heavy fog and low visibility.

The Russian crew members were taken aboard two Turkish coast guard boats, it said.

Relations between Russia and Turkey hit their worst state since the Cold War in November 2015 when Turkish war planes shot down a Russian jet over the Syrian border.

Black Sea Fleet vessels and an An-26 plane with rescuers were sent to assist the sailors.

Liman is a former research vessel the Russian navy has transformed into a reconnaissance ship.

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