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Ship's story told in new exhibition 100 years on.

Byline: Tony Henderson Environment Editor

THE dramatic adventures of a North East-built ship are revealed in a new exhibition staged through a Tyneside-Russian partnership to mark the vessel's centenary.

This collaborative venture celebrates the history of the icebreaker ship Sviatogor from its launch on the Tyne, its involvement in the Russian Revolution, its renaming as the Krasin after a Bolshevik leader and its part in Second World War Arctic convoys to its current role as a museum vessel on the River Neva in St Petersburg in Russia.

Armstrong's to the Arctic: The 100th Anniversary of the Icebreaker Krasin is a result of co-operation between Newcastle Discovery Museum, the Museum of the World Ocean in St Petersburg, and the British Consulate General St Petersburg. The exhibition, which runs at Discovery Museum until November 14, includes a scale model of the ship, loaned from Newcastle University, accompanied by a display of archival images of the Krasin throughout its 100-year history.

Carolyn Ball, Discovery Museum manager, said: "The history of the Krasin is a dramatic tale. The ship has transformed into various guises throughout the last century and survived many close encounters. "That it survives today and is enjoyed as part of the Museum of the World Ocean in St Petersburg, really does remind us of the expertise of shipbuilders in Newcastle in the early 20th Century."

Keith Allan, British Consul General in St Petersburg, said: "I am grateful to Discovery Museum, in partnership with Newcastle University, for hosting this special exhibition about an important part of the shared history between the UK and Russia.

"Krasin was built in Newcastle and took part in the Arctic Convoys, which delivered essential supplies to the Soviet Union during World War Two."

The ship was one of several icebreakers built at the Low Walker yard of Armstrong Whitworth and launched as the Siyatogor (Holy Mountain) on August 3, 1916.

She was delivered to her base in Archangel in Russia but during the Russian Revolution she was scuttled by the Blosheviks in 1918 in a bid to block the port to prevent British forces intervening in the uprising. The ship was later seized by the British and sailed to the UK to become part of the Royal Navy.

When Britain recognised the Soviet government she was returned to Russia and in 1927 the ship was renamed after Bolshevik leader and Soviet diplomat Leonid Krasin.

In 1938, the Krasin rescued the icebreaker Lenin, trapped in ice at the end of the previous summer.

During the Second World War Krasin escorted convoys after being armed in Britain with surface and anti-aircraft guns.

After the war the icebreaker served as a scientific research vessel and was also used as a floating power station in the Arctic.

She was then restored and is now a museum ship in St Petersburg.


Tyne-built icebreaker Krasin

The Krasin, now used as a floating museum in St Petersburg

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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:0ARCT
Date:Oct 13, 2016
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