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A Soviet fleet disabled, 200 killed in blast: Jane's

A series of explosions in May at a major Soviet ammunition depot disabled the Soviet Navy's northern fleet and killed at least 200 navy personnel, Jane's Defense Weekly reported Tuesday.

In the first detailed description of the incident, Jane's said the incident ''represents the greatest disaster to occur in the Soviet Navy since World War II.''

The May 13 blasts that rocked the Severomorsk base on the Kola Peninsula, about 60 miles from Norway, destroyed about two-thirds of the northern fleet's surface-to-air and ship-to-ship missiles, Jane's said.

It said the loss of much of the fleet's missile arsenal meant it ''will not be a viable force for the next six months. It is also conservatively estimated that it will be two years before the facility is fully operational again,'' Jane's added.

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