Only four of the original 20 Kashin-series (Russian Project 61) guided-missile destroyers remain in the Russian Navy inventory, all in the Black Sea Fleet, whose fate has yet to be determined in the dispute over fleet assets between Russia and Ukraine. The uniquely configured Smetlivyy ("Intelligent"), commissioned in 1969, entered an extensive modernization overhaul at Sevastopol in 1990 that saw her after 76.2-mm gunmount replaced by a new structure housing a variable-depth sonar. Amidships, the quadruple 533-mm dual-purpose torpedo tube mounting was replaced by a seven-tubed mount for 402-mm antisubmarine torpedoes, while racks were installed abreast the after pylon mast for eventual installation of two quadruple groups of Kh-35 Uran (NATO's SS-NX-25 Switchblade) antiship missiles—in place of the RBU-1000 antisubmarine rocket launchers.
A close-up of the island and angled deck and an overall view of the incomplete Russian aircraft carrier Varyag ("Viking"), both taken last October at Mykolayiv, Ukraine, show the 59,100-ton full-load-displacement ship being stripped of useful equipment prior to scrapping. Note that, had she been completed, the Varyag would have carried the older Top Sail (Russian MR-600 Voshkod) long-range air-search radar's antenna on the cylindrical pylon atop the island. Her older sister, Admiral Flota Sovetskogo Soyuza Kuznetsov , had the unsuccessful Sky Watch (Russian Mars-Passat) fixed array system. On 9 February 1996, the name Varyag was transferred to the Pacific Fleet Project 1164 Atlant-class (NATO Slava) cruiser Chervona Ukraina ("Pride of the Ukraine"), whose crew had petitioned for a more politically correct name. The incomplete carrier, which originally was to have been assigned to the Pacific Fleet, reportedly will be scrapped this year in India. The planned winter 1996-97 Mediterranean cruise of the Kuznetsov had to be canceled when funds ran out to complete an overhaul at Rosta with only 20% of the work package completed.
Something of a phoenix is the oldest active Russian cruiser, the 5,350-ton Admiral Golovko , the last of the four-ship Kynda class (Russian Project 58). All four had been thought stricken during the early 1990s, but after several years in layup with a caretaker crew, the Admiral Golovko was put into service as flagship of the Black Sea Fleet. This photo was taken during 300th anniversary celebrations at Sevastopol in July 1996, and the ship later led the naval presence at similar celebrations at Novorossiysk, which may eventually become the home port for the Black Sea Fleet. Despite its small size, the Kynda was considered a true cruiser by the Russian Navy, and the ships were assigned a captain first rank as commanding officer. The larger Kresta-II and Kara-class large antisubmarine ships, while typed cruisers by NATO, only rated captains third rank as commanding officers. The Admiral Golovko was scheduled to be replaced this fall as flagship by the cruiser Moskva (ex- Slava ), in refit at Mykolayiv since late 1990, but funding problems may delay the old cruiser's retirement again.