Walrus near Franz Josef Land

Did A Walrus Sink A Russian Military Boat?

A crew of researchers were forced to flee after a walrus began attacking their military boat.

Walrus near Franz Josef Land

The incident took place in the Franz Josef Land islands (Picture: Russian Ministry of Defence Northern Fleet).

A Russian military boat has been "attacked" by a walrus in an archipelago in the Arctic Ocean.

The Russian Ministry of Defence says a group of Northern Fleet expedition researchers "had to flee" from a female walrus, during a landing at Cape Geller in the Franz Josef Land archipelago.

The Russian territory, which is made up of more than 190 islands, is primarily used by military personnel.

According to the Russian Ministry of Defence, none of the animals were harmed and the tugboat has been able to continue its tasks in the region.

However, the Russian geographical society says the expedition team's boat "sank" following the walrus incident, with crew members making it to shore safely.

Russian boat and tugboat near Franz Josef Land
The Russian Ministry of Defence and geographical society gave differing accounts of whether or not the boat was sunk (Picture: Russian Ministry of Defence Northern Fleet).

Earlier this year, a beluga in whale found wearing a tight harness by Norwegian officials led to an investigation, prompting speculation the animal may have escaped from a Russian military facility.

The Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries said "Equipment St Petersburg" was written on the harness strap, which features a mount for an action camera.