Heartbreaking video shows a bear and her cub being shot dead after managing to board a nuclear submarine.
Horrified animal lovers have accused the Russian navy of cruelty after video of the shooting was shared on social media.
A clip taken close to the Vilyuchinsk navy base in the eastern Kamchatka region shows the bears falling into the water after being gunned down.
They had earlier been spotted sitting on the deck of the military vessel, prompting military bosses to call in a marksman.
It led to an outcry, the BBC reports, with one fuming viewer describing the navy as “animals” after the shooting.
Hundreds of shocked social media users said it showed unnecessary cruelty to kill the bears, which had been seen swimming up to the moored submarine.
A voice heard on the video can be heard saying: “There’s no other way.
“If you chase it out, it’ll wander into the villages. That’s how you fight bears in Kamchatka.”
A Pacific Fleet spokesman told Interfax news agency: “To neutralize wild animals that pose a danger to humans, a hunting instructor was called.
“Using specialised hunting weapons, they shot the bears.”
According to The Moscow Times, the animals had been spotted around villages in the days before they died, with locals having to chase them away.
There have been around 50 bear shootings in the region so far this year, the outlet reports.