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Russian Navy Fired on Civilian Fishing Trawler, Killing Sailors – Dozhd

A still image purportedly showing the Captain Lobanov after it was struck by a Russian navy missile.

The Russian navy accidentally fired on a fishing trawler during training exercises earlier this week, causing an explosion and killing three people on board the vessel, the independent broadcaster Dozhd reported, citing one of the victims’ relatives.

Authorities said Tuesday that one fisherman had died and four others were injured in a fire that had broken out on board the trawler in the Baltic Sea.

Citing AIS ship tracking data, Dozhd reported that the trawler, the Captain Lobanov, may have unintentionally entered the zone of the Russian navy’s Baltic Fleet drills. 

Russia’s Defense Ministry had not announced the exercises, but navigation warnings said the waters around the nearby Kaliningrad region were “temporarily hazardous for shipping.”

Late Thursday, Dozhd cited a crew member’s relative who claimed that the Captain Lobanov was struck by a Russian Navy missile by mistake.

“Everyone knew perfectly well that a missile had struck, but they decided to write that there was a fire,” the relative was quoted as saying.

“I wonder what kind of fire it was if the captain’s cabin is completely gone, it was just blown away,” they added.

Agents from Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) allegedly interrogated the crew members of the Captain Lobanov at a hospital they were sent to and asked them “not to spread word” about the incident, according to the family member.

Dozhd’s source claimed that three crew members were killed in the accident.

As of Friday afternoon, there was no official confirmation or denial of the relative’s claims.

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