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World's Most Powerful Icebreaker Officially Enters Service in Russia, Sputnik Correspondent Says

© Sputnik / Alexei Danichev / Go to the photo bankThe Arktika icebreaker at the Admiralty Shipyards in St. Petersburg
The Arktika icebreaker at the Admiralty Shipyards in St. Petersburg - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russia's nuclear-powered Arktika icebreaker, the largest and most powerful ever constructed, will enter use in December, the Russian government said in a statement on Wednesday.

The world's most powerful nuclear icebreaker Akrtika entered service on Wednesday in the northern Russian city of Murmansk, a Sputnik correspondent reported.

The Russian flag was raised on the ship in the presence of Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin.

A video of the moment has emerged online.

​Earlier today, the government said in a statement that Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin signed a decree allowing the Arktika to enter operation.

"This decision will allow the use of the icebreaker to begin in the waters of the Northern Sea Route from December 2020", the government statement read.

According to the government, a new engine with increased capacity will be fitted to the Arktika's starboard side in 2021.

The launching ceremony for the Lead Project Arktika nuclear icebreaker at Baltiysky Zavod Shipyard in St. Petersburg - Sputnik International
Rosatom Still Expecting Powerful Nuclear Icebreaker Arktika in 1st Half of 2020 - CEO
The Arktika has successfully arrived in the northern port city of Murmansk after passing the final phase of its at-sea trials. Later on Wednesday, a ceremony to mark the handover of the vessel from the United Shipbuilding Corporation to Rosatom, the Russian state nuclear agency, will take place.

The Arktika, one of Russia's class of Project 22220 fleet of icebreakers, will be able to escort caravans of ships in Arctic conditions, breaking up to 10 feet of ice. The icebreakers are designed to accompany vessels carrying hydrocarbons from the Yamal and Gydan peninsulas and the Kara Sea shelf to Asian-Pacific markets.

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