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One of the world's largest dry docks sank at a shipyard in northwestern Russia late last month, throwing a wrench into plans to repair and modernize the country's sole aircraft carrier — the Admiral Kuznetsov.

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Flickr/Christopher Michel

Russia's only aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov, sustained massive damage from a 70-ton crane falling on it after an accident at a shipyard, Russian media reports.

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333 Squadron, Norwegian Royal Airforce/NTB Scanpix

For most sailors who served on the Admiral Kuznetzov, Mazut is the stuff of legends. The ultra thick, tarry black substance that powers the ship is known for being rather toxic, sticky, and not easy to get out of clothes. But why did the Soviet navy keep powering its ships with Mazut? What are the advantages and disadvantages of the fuel? Why exactly is the Kuznetsov so smoky?

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WorldwideAircraftCarriers

Russia's only aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov, is one of the five worst carriers in the world, according to The National Interest.

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