This historic ship, moored off the southern bank of Vasilyevsky Island, is one of the more recent additions to St. Petersburg’s museum scene. Despite its age, the “Krasin” is still in good working order and eminently seaworthy, but after undergoing extensive restoration work it has now become a floating museum.
Designed by the famous Russian seaman, Admiral Stepan O. Makarov and built in 1916 in Britain, the ship was originally named after the Russian mythological warrior – “Svyatogor”. Renamed “Krasin” during the Soviet era, the powerful icebreaker took part in the rescue operation to save the Italian polar expedition led by Umberto Nobile. During WWII the “Krasin” led Allied convoys, which brought strategic supplies, arms and ammunition to the Soviet Union. The convoys fought their way to the northern Soviet seaports, despite heavy Nazi bombardment and the constant threat of submarine attacks. Many Allied ships and cargo vessels failed to reach their destination, but the “Krasin” was lucky enough to survive. After the war the historic icebreaker took an active part in research expeditions in the Polar Ocean and led Soviet cargo convoys through the polar region. Rather than being destroyed (like the famous icebreaker “Yermak”) to make way for more modern ships, the “Krasin” was preserved and restored, thanks to the tremendous dedication of its captain and crew and of volunteers and naval history enthusiasts. (Height 10 cm)