Varyag was built in the United States by William Cramp & Sons of Philadelphia for the Imperial Russian Navy. It was stationed in Korea in 1904, and involved in the Russo-Japanese War. After suffering heavy damage from the unequal battle with nine Japanese cruisers, Varyag was scuttled by its crew in 1904.
After the Russo-Japanese War, the Japanese raised the badly damaged wreck, repaired it, and commissioned it into the Imperial Japanese Navy as the cruiser Soya in 1907