List of Russian military accidents

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This is a list of Russian military accidents that befell Russian forces after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. Accidents have variously been attributed to cutbacks in spending on equipment, the lack of maintenance of hardware, and the theft of parts for sale to criminal gangs due to low pay in the services.[1]


  • 1993 – two MiG-29s of the Russian Air Force collided in mid-air and crashed away from the public at the Royal International Air Tattoo. No one on the ground sustained any serious injuries, and the two pilots ejected and landed safely.[2]
  • 1995 – A nuclear submarine had its electricity cut by an electricity company at a naval base due to unpaid bills. The submarine's cooling system ceased to function and the reactor "came close to meltdown".[1]


  • June 2000 – A fuel leak from a missile poisoned servicemen at a naval base in Russia's Far East.[3]
  • 12 August 2000 – The Oscar II-class nuclear-powered submarine Kursk sank due to an explosion of ordnance in its torpedo room in the Barents Sea, killing all the 118 submariners on board.
  • 30 August 2003 – The decommissioned November-class nuclear-powered submarine K-159 sank while it was being towed to a harbour in the Barents Sea to be stripped of its nuclear reactors.[4] Nine crew members died.
  • 2004 – a female researcher at Vector, a Russian laboratory in Koltsovo, Siberia, died after accidentally pricking herself with a needle contaminated with the Ebola virus.[5]
  • August 2005 – The Royal Navy and the U.S. Navy provided assistance to rescue seven Russian sailors trapped in the Priz-class deep-submergence rescue vehicle AS-28 which had become entangled in submerged nets off Russia's Pacific coastline near Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy.[3][6]
  • 7 September 2006 – a fire broke out in the submarine, Daniil Moskovsky, as it was being towed across the Barents Sea to a base in Vidyayevo. Two on board died.[7]
  • 15 July 2008 – Seven soldiers died and six were injured in Chechnya when a tank shell they were loading unexpectedly exploded.[8]
  • 8 November 2008 – the Akula II-class submarine K-152 Nerpa's Freon fire extinguishing system was accidentally activated, killing 20 and injuring at least 22 people. The incident occurred while the submarine was conducting sea trials.[3]
  • 17 October 2008 – a MiG-29 crashed in southern Siberia causing the fleet to be grounded temporarily.[9]
  • 5 December 2008 – a MiG-29 lost part of its tail section due to corrosion and crashed in southern Siberia. The whole fleet was grounded for inspection and 90 planes were found to be in a dangerous condition.[10]
  • 7 January 2009 – a small fire broke out on board the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier while anchored off Turkey. The fire, caused by a short circuit, led to the death of one crew member from carbon monoxide poisoning.[11] On 16 February 2009, along with other Russian naval vessels, she was involved in a large oil spill while refuelling off the south coast of Ireland.[12]
  • March 2009 – a fire broke out on the hull of the decommissioned nuclear submarine, Orenburg, while at the Severodvinsk docks.[13]
  • October 2009 – another blaze occurred during the decommissioning of the nuclear submarine, Kazan, again at Severodvinsk.[13]
  • 14 November 2009 – explosion on the outskirts of Ulyanovsk at Arsenal 31, a navy depot. Two firemen died during the decommissioning of munitions.[14]
  • 23 November 2009 – second explosion at Arsenal 31. Eight soldiers died as they removed munitions.[15]




  • 26 May 2011 – explosion in an arms depot in the village of Urman in Bashkortostan. 12 people were injured and 40 buildings damaged. Over 2,000 people were evacuated from the surrounding area. The cause was blamed by an official on the "combustion of gunpowder traces".[18]
  • 2 June 2011 – explosion in an arms depot near the city of Izhevsk. 20,000 inhabitants of the surrounding area had to be evacuated. 95 people were injured in the blast,[19] and two elderly people nearby died of heart attacks possibly caused by the sound of the blast. Windows were shattered up to 10 km away. A discarded cigarette has initially been blamed for the blast.[20]
  • 6 September 2011 – a MiG-31 on a training mission crashed in the Perm Krai, killing the two pilots. The whole fleet of 370 fighters was grounded while an investigation into the cause was carried out.[16]
  • 29 December 2011 – the Delta-IV-class nuclear submarine, Yekaterinburg, caught fire while in dry-dock in the Roslyakovo shipyard, north of Murmansk. The blaze broke out on scaffolding that had been erected around it. The rubber outer hull was badly burnt and nine people were injured fighting the fire. No radiation leak was detected.[13]


  • 13 March 2012 – a new Ka-52 attack helicopter crashed near Torzhok, killing both pilots.[21]
  • 2 May 2012 – explosion at a military training centre close to Nizhny Novgorod killed six soldiers.[19]
  • 23 May 2012 – a Russian An-30 military plane crashed while landing in Caslav, the Czech Republic. 23 were on board at the time, six of whom suffered burns, with one being left in a critical condition. The plane's front landing gear collapsed as it touched down, causing it to leave the runway and break in two, catching fire. The passengers were made up of 14 Russians and nine Czechs, all on an Open Sky treaty mission, for conducting surveillance flights over the territory of participant nations (NATO members, Russia and other countries).[22]
  • 26 September 2012 – explosion at an arms depot 180 km northwest of Orenburg killed one officer.[19]
  • October 2012 – explosion at an arms depot in the Orenburg region. 4,000 tons of munitions exploded when a soldier failed to extinguish his cigarette. One officer was injured and inhabitants of the surrounding area had to be evacuated.[19]


  • 18–19 June 2013 – explosion at the Chapaevsk arms depot in the Samara region. 6,000 inhabitants of the surrounding area had to be evacuated. 30 people were injured in the blast caused by the "involuntary" explosion of shells.[23][24]
  • 16 September - 15 sailors were injured after a fire broke out on the Tomsk nuclear submarine while at a shipyard near Vladivostok. Officials claimed the nuclear reactor was "deactivated" prior to the fire.[25]
  • 22 October 2013 – explosion at a firing range near Strugi Krasnye, Pskov region, killed six soldiers[26] – 5 cadets from the Ryazan Higher Airforce Institute, and one sergeant from Pskov. Two others were injured. It is thought that one of them stepped on unexploded ordnance.
  • 29 October 2013 – a Ka-52 helicopter crashed in the south-east of Moscow. Both pilots ejected safely.[27]


  • 11 February 2014 – a Su-24 bomber crashed in Volgogradskaja oblast', just after take-off. Both pilots died. Pilot or mechanical error are suspected.[28]


  • 7 April 2015 – the Orel, an Oscar-II class submarine, caught fire during repairs in a dry dock in the Severodvinsk shipyard. No casualties have been reported and the nuclear reactor had been turned off before the fire started. The submarine entered service in 1992.[29]
  • 4 June 2015 – a MiG-29 fighter crashed and was completely destroyed in the Astrakhan oblast. Both pilots parachuted to safety.[30]
  • 4 June 2015 – an unarmed Su-34 bomber in Voronezh oblast overshot the runway when its parachute failed to open on landing. It overturned, severely damaging the plane.[30]
  • 8 June 2015 – a Tupolev Tu-95 ran off a runway at the Ukrainka bomber base and caught fire during take-off in the far eastern Amur region. As a result, one crew member was killed and another badly burned.[31][32]
  • 5 July 2015 – a MiG-29 crashed near Krasnodarsk reportedly due to a fire on board. The pilot ejected and survived.[33]
  • 6 July 2015 – a Sukhoi Su-24M Fencer frontal strike-bomber crashed in the Khabarovskiy region soon after takeoff. Both pilots died.[33]
  • 13 July 2015 – a barracks collapsed at a training facility for Russian paratroopers near the Omsk.[34] 23 soldiers died, 19 were hospitalised and three sustained minor injuries. The barracks in the town of Svetlyj had been renovated in 2013–2014.[35]
  • 14 July 2015 – a Tupolev Tu-95MS Bear strategic bomber crashed during a training flight 80 km from Khabarovsk, killing two of seven pilots.[36]


  • 29 April - a decommissioned Soviet-era Krasnoyarsk Project 949 nuclear submarine (Oscar-I class) caught fire while being disassembled in Vilyuchinsk, Kamchatka. The Defence Ministry reported that its rubber-coated outer hull caught fire. The vessel had been built in 1983 and launched in 1986 as part of the Soviet Union’s Pacific Fleet.[37]
  • 19 May 2016 – six soldiers died and 16 were injured when their bus suffered a probable brake failure and left a mountain road in South Ossetia.[38]
  • 9 June 2016 – a Sukhoi SU-27 fighter plane crashed 30 km from Moscow. The pilot died. All flights of SU-27s were suspended following the crash.[citation needed]
  • 14 November 2016 – a MiG-29 crashed in the Mediterranean while attempting to land on the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier.[39] The pilot safely ejected. The plane was on a training mission for the taskforce sent to help Assad in the Syrian Civil War.
  • 19 December 2016 – an Il-18 transport plane belonging to the Russian Defence Ministry crashed in high winds in Siberia, near the town of Tiksi in the Sakha Republic. Initial reports stated that there were some fatalities, but later it turned out that all had survived. 38 were taken to hospital, with four in a critical condition.[40]
  • 25 December 2016 – a Tupolev Tu-154 jetliner owned by the Russian Defense Ministry crashed 1.5 km off the coast of Sochi while en route to Khmeimim Air Base in Syria. The aircraft had flown from Chkalovsky Airport and had landed at Sochi to refuel. All 92 passengers and crew aboard died.


  • 27 April 2017 – Russian spy ship Liman sank off the Turkish coast, 29 km from Kilyos, after colliding with a freighter in fog. All 78 crew members were rescued.[41]
  • 30 May 2017 – an Antonov AN-26 transport crashed at the end of a training flight at the Balashov airbase in the Saratov region and caught fire. One crew member died and four were injured. Engine failure was suspected.[42]
  • 10 August 2017 – an S-200 Angara anti-aircraft missile exploded at a recycling centre in the town of Chita, having been stolen from a military base and sold for scrap. Two were killed and one person was injured as it was being dismantled. A second missile was also discovered awaiting recycling.[43]
  • 28 September 2017 - a Tu-22M3 "Backfire" bomber was badly damaged when it aborted takeoff when a speed sensor failed. It ran off the runway, losing a wing, in Shaykovka, Russia. It was taking part in the Zapad ("West") military exercises. No injuries were reported among the four-man crew.[44]


  • 6 March 2018 – an An-26 transport plane crashed while landing at Syria's Hmeimim airbase. All 39 military personnel on board died. Initial information suggests that a technical problem caused the crash.[45]
  • 17 September 2018 – an Ilyushin Il-20 reconnaissance plane was shot down by friendly Syrian forces about 22 miles from the Syrian coast as the Il-20 returned to Russia's Hmeimim airbase. 15 Russians died.[46]
  • 30 October 2018 – the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov was damaged while undergoing a refit: the dry dock sank, sending a 70-tonne crane crashing onto the ship and causing a 5m gash. One ship-worker went missing and four required medical care after falling into the sea.[47]


  • 22 January 2019 - a Tu-22M3 bomber crashed as it was approaching to land at the airfield in Olenegorsk (Murmansk Region). Russia’s Defense Ministry reported that three crewmembers died and one pilot was injured.[48]
  • 1 July 2019 – a navy research submersible, thought to be an AS-12 "Losharik", suffered a fire and 14 crew members died due to fume inhalation. The vessel had been conducting research in Russian territorial waters, according to the Defence Ministry, though Russian media reports said it was a nuclear mini-submarine deployed in special operations.[49]
  • 5 August 2019 – a military depot exploded near the city of Achinsk, Siberia[50] killing one and injuring at least eight others,[51] and prompting the evacuation of thousands. Russia's Defense Ministry said a fire triggered the explosions at a storage facility for gunpowder charges in eastern Siberia's Krasnoyarsk region. Authorities declared a state of emergency in the region. Air traffic was suspended within 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) of the munitions site.
  • 8 August 2019 – five military and civilian specialists were killed and three were injured[52] in an explosion at a naval test facility in the Arkhangelsk region while testing a liquid jet engine, said to be for the nuclear-powered Burevestnik cruise missile. Earlier the same day there were reports of a fire and explosions at a military facility near Nyonoksa in the same region. The facility has a navy missile test range used to test intercontinental ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and anti-aircraft missiles.[53] The administration in nearby Severodvinsk reported elevated radiation levels for 40 minutes leading to a rush on medical iodine.[51] However, Russia's defence ministry insisted no harmful chemicals had been released.
  • 9 August 2019 – shells again exploded at the military depot that saw explosions on 5 August 2019. Nine were injured. This time the explosions were blamed on a lightning strike.[51]
  • 17 September 2019 – a gas explosion occurred at Vector, a Russian laboratory in Koltsovo, Siberia. The lab researches biological weapons and is one of only two places on earth to still possess the smallpox virus. One worker suffered third-degree burns, and the blast blew out window panes.[5]
  • 25 October 2019 - a Russian conscript shot ten fellow soldiers near the village of Gorny, killing eight.[54]
  • 11 December - Mi-28 attack helicopter crashes killing two crew members.[55]
  • 12 December 2019 - the navy's only aircraft carrier, Admiral Kuznetsov, caught fire during repair work at the port of Murmansk. Six were injured and one person was reported missing.[56]
  • 17 December 2019 - a Tupolev Tu-22M3 long-range bomber suffered a failed engine and sustained damage during an emergency "belly landing" near the Chkalov State Flight Testing Centre[57] in the Astrakhan Region. Neither of the two-man crew was injured and the nuclear-capable bomber was unarmed.[58]


  • 19 May - an Mi-8 helicopter crash-landed in an uninhabited area near the town of Klin, about 90 kilometres from Moscow, killing "all crew members". The Defence Ministry did not reveal how many crew members were on board, but stated that there was no ammunition being carried. The incident might have been caused by a technical malfunction, officials admitted.[59]
  • 22 September - a Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jet was probably accidentally shot down by a Su-35 fighter jet during exercises near a village in the Tver region, northwest of Moscow. The two pilots ejected before the plane crashed and were reported to be in a "stable condition".[60]
  • 7 October - a depot with 75000 tonnes of munitions caught fire, injuring 5 people and causing 2,000 people from nearby villages to be evacuated in the Ryazan region, after a wildfire set off explosions. More than 400 firefighters battled the blaze.[61]

See also[edit]


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