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.
— Кремлевский пул РИА (@Kremlinpool_RIA) October 21, 2020
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 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.