They were carrying construction materials for the new local port, built to facilitate the installation of Russia’s first floating nuclear power plant. It was a historic voyage. Never before have icebreakers escorted cargo vessels from the western part of the Arctic to Pevek, the town by the East Siberian Sea, in mid-winter.
Conditions underway were tough. The convoy soon needed assistance from a second and more powerful icebreaker, the «Admiral Makarov», which came to support from its base in Vladivostok.
The convoy, which included cargo carriers «Iogann Makhmastal» and «Sinegorsk» and diesel-engined icebreaker «Kapital Dranitsyn», arrived in Pevek on 7th February. They were due to depart few days later. That did not happen.