In 1918 Svyatogor was one of the block-ships scuttled by the Bolsheviks in the Severnaya Dvina, in an attempt to prevent the Royal Navy, as part of the Allied Intervention, from capturing Arkhangel'sk. Having avoided the block-ships and having captured the city the Royal Navy raised Svyatogor and took command of her, in part in lieu of the moneys still owing to Britain for the initial building of the icebreaker.

In 1920 the Soviet government mounted an expedition to rescue the icebreaking steamer Solovey Budimirovich (later Malygin), beset and drifting in the ice of the Kara Sea, with 85 people on board and with both food and coal almost exhausted. Arrangements were made with Britain for Svyatogor to be made available for this rescue mission; the icebreaker sailed under the Norwegian flag, and with a Norwegian captain, the veteran arctic explorer, Otto Sverdrup. Hence his name in the list of captains in 1920.

The expedition was successful. L. Krasin was the Soviet ambassador in London who made the arrangements for the use of the icebreaker (and also paid the amount still owing for her construction, at which point she was returned to Russia). Krasin died in 1926, and to mark his efforts towards recovering Svyatogor she was renamed Krasin in his honour.