Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Liberation of tanker Moscow University

[Translation of blog post originally published by Denis Mokrushin.]

My friends shared with me big number of pictures made during operation of liberation of tanker captured by Somalian pirates.
Prehistory. May 5 2010 pirates attacked tanker Moscow University. The ship had been under fire of grenade launcher.
Damage made by shells.

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Tanker crew had enough time to report about attack and barricaded themselves in steering compartment. Pirates tried to penetrate into it and broke the door.

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Stairs into steering compartment.

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Inside compartment.

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Tanker crew waiting for rescue.

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Through this aperture pirates were shooting at people inside steering compartment trying to make them surrender.

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Bullet marks inside compartment.

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Crew didn't want to surrender and were preparing improvised means of self-defense.

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Meanwhile, pirates were forcing doors at the ship open and looting.

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But civilians didn't happen to had to enter in their last battle because signal about assault was received on destroyer ship Marshal Shaposhnikov which was in Arabian Sea near island Socotra.

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Russians don't leave their people in bad situation, so the destroyer immediately went on aid of captured ship. Scheme of tanker is on the table.

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Assault groups were formed.

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Flotation devices prepared for them.

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Improvised protection made from flak jackets.

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Crew of assault groups conducted traning of firing practice.

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In the morning of May 6, Marshal Shaposhnikov came up to the captured ship and after a reconnaissance assault started.
Assault groups landed on the tanker, control from water was reached using cutter, from air — using helicopter.

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Clean-up of the ship.

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During short shoot-out one pirate was fatally wounded, a few received minor injuries. There was no losses from our side.
Pirates on top-gallant forecastle.

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Examination of flotation devices

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Brave guys are lying.

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Liberation of the crew.

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Pirates wating for their fate to be decided.

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Our guys were kind-hearted, so they didn't let them die from thirst.

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Dashing corsairs.

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Bandanging of injured.

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Consequences of shoot-out.

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Weapons left by pirates.

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Weapons confiscated from pirates. Despite their looks, they were working, inside they were oiled with some used oil. Later our marines tried to shoot from them. Of course, nobody took in hands, they pulled string coiled to trigger.

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Navigator they used in sea.

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Seamen said this piece of rope pirates were using as narcotic. Is it made from hemp?

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Fuel for engines of boats and boarding hooks (most probably they also play the role of anchors).

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One of the pirates' boats.

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They decided to let pirates go. They gave them water, food, put them in one of the boats.

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Our soldiers and officers who participated in storm.

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Commander of brigade of destroyer ships thanks crew of assault group for excellently conducted operation.

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Tanker crew with their liberators.

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[Translator note: most probably pirates did not reach the coast. Given to the fact that local authorities don't prosecute pirates at any way, decision to free them in sea, 300 km away from land without providing any navigational equipment was arguably wise, yet cruel.]

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