As Russia's only aircraft carrier falls apart, some Russians want to undo a shady ship deal with China 25 years ago

Russia's sole aircraft carrier has been sidelined for years and may not see action again. A Russian lawmaker has proposed trying buying China's Liaoning aircraft carrier as a

replacement. Liaoning began life as a Soviet carrier, but China acquired it in a shady sale in the late 1990s. Russia's only aircraft carrier, Admiral Kuznetsov, is in such bad

shape that it may easier to buy a replacement than to fix it. In a sign of how low Russia's military has sunk, a Russian politician has suggested doing so by buying a

Soviet-designed carrier that was sold to China 25 years ago. Admiral Kuznetsov has never been lucky. Launched in 1985, the 60,000-ton vessel has suffered engine breakdowns,

multiple fires, and bizarre shipyard accidents. In 2012, it had to be towed to port by a tugboat after losing propulsion off the French coast. Sidelined for overhaul since

2017, Kuznetsov was damaged in 2018 by a falling dockyard crane that left a 200-square-foot hole in its flight deck. This was followed in December 2019 by a major fire that killed

at least one person while the ship was under refit in Murmansk. Most recently, a fire in December caused what the Russian government called "minor" damage. Kuznetsov is now

in such bad shape that can neither move under its own power nor be towed, for fear that the ship might capsize, according to Ukrainian media. "When the diving teams examined

the ship's hull, it was found that the metal structures below the third deck were subjected to significant corrosion," RBC-Ukraine said, according to a translation. "The holds are

completely filled with muddy water, which makes it impossible to examine the ship from the inside in detail."