Navy personnel from the Baltic, Black Sea, Northern and Pacific fleets and the Caspian Flotilla, as well as various ships and cutters along with a Navy aviation group, took part in the parade.
Earlier today, the President sailed on board the cutter Raptor around combat ships gathered in parade formation in the inner harbor of Kronstadt and greeted the crews. Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and Navy Commander-in-Chief Nikolai Yevmenov accompanied the President.
* * *
Speech at the Main Naval Parade
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Comrades sailors, petty officers, midshipmen, officers and admirals,
Citizens of Russia,
My congratulations to you on Navy Day.
This holiday is celebrated across Russia. Today, we are honouring those who faithfully and loyally served Russia and those who have devoted their lives to serving our country today, both within our maritime boundaries and far away from our Motherland.
To honour Russia's Navy, naval parades are taking place in Severomorsk, Vladivostok, Sevastopol, Astrakhan, Baltiysk, and, of course, St Petersburg.
St Petersburg was the city where Peter the Great founded the Russian navy and where it went through its baptism of fire. This the city that was the starting point for legendary researchers' voyages, with naval officers heading almost all the expeditions. Their perseverance, inquisitiveness and brilliant education resulted in outstanding discoveries made in geography, biology and geology.
The Navy greatly contributed to the development of national science, and today is among the leaders in utilising the latest equipment, as well as efficiently using and developing promising engineering and design solutions unparalleled anywhere else in the world.
This year alone, the Navy fleet will be replenished with 15 ships and combatant cutters. Efforts are also being taken to update marine aviation and coastal defence troops, improve naval base infrastructure, and resume round-the-world cruises. The frigate Admiral Flota Sovetskogo Soyuza Gorshkov, which is taking part in today's parade, has spent five months sailing four different oceans.
The Russian Navy successfully secures our country's defense capability and its national interests, and is capable responding to any aggressor. This is ensured by unique armaments; yet the main thing here is our naval crews' courage and their level of training.
Devotion to St Andrew's flag and the Motherland remains a special and sublime duty for them. While carrying out their combat duties, mariners stand to the end on their combat duty; ready to sacrifice their lives for their vessel, their nation and the Fatherland, as has always been the case with the Russian fleet.
Examples of such valour can be found in the feats by the crews of the Russian brig Mercury and the frigate Aurora, which accepted and were victorious in battles against an enemy with superior forces in the era of military campaigns of the 19th century; the heroes of the vessels Varyag, Koreyetz and Steregushchy who died refusing to succumb to the enemy; mariners of the battleship Slava, which defended the approaches to Russia's capital in 1917. There have been also unparalleled feats by the garrisons of Sevastopol Coastal Batteries 30 and 35 during the Great Patriotic War, the crew of the K-19 submarine, which saved the world from tragedy during the Soviet era, and the mariners who recently died aboard a deep water submersible craft in the Barents Sea. The Motherland has and will always remember Russian mariners' deeds.
I am addressing now each crew, each Naval personnel member of the Russian Navy. I thank sailors, petty officers, midshipmen, officers and admirals for their commitment to our heroic traditions and naval mariners' values, to unity and restraint, to being true to their duty, to their courage and bravery.
Thank you for your service to Russia.
The heroism of our mariners, the talent of naval commanders and shipbuilders, the courage of scientists and the bravery of explorers – this has all brought glory to Russia as a great naval power. We will not simply preserve this status; we will move beyond it. We will build a fleet with unique capabilities, focused on a long-term historical perspective – the fleet of a strong and sovereign nation.
I am confident we will succeed. This is ensured by today's success of our mariners, their aspiration to meet the needs of the age and look to the future, and the readiness to constantly advance their skills and confidently execute the command “full steam ahead!”
Happy holiday to you, friends. Hail the Russian Navy.