The President, accompanied by Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, Commander-in-Chief of the Navy Nikolai Yevmenov and Acting Commander of the Western Military District Sergei Ryumshin, were aboard the Raptor naval boat as it sailed around the warships on parade in the Neva River. Vladimir Putin greeted the crews of the small missile ships Zeleny Dol and Burya, the Sankt Peterburg submarine, the Neustrashimy frigate and the Velikiye Luki submarine. The Poltava battleship, built according to the 18th century drafts and models, led the parade sail ships at anchor.
The vessels that took part in the parade included the anti-sabotage boats Nakhimovets, P-468 and P-474, the landing boats Ivan Pasko and Alexei Barinov with Peter the Great’s famous botik, the Raptor-class patrol boats Yevgeny Kolesnikov and P-436, the anti-sabotage boat Yunarmeyets Daghestanа, the base minesweeper Pavel Khenov, fast attack guided missile crafts Uglich and Sovetsk. A total of 11 vessels of the Navy and the Federal Security Service’s border division took part in the parade in the Gulf in Finland, along with the Ufa diesel-electric submarine.
At anchor in the Large Kronstadt roadstead, the Dmitrov submarine, the Mytishchi fast attack guided missile ship, the Boiky corvette and the Mir sailing vessel were on display. The Sedov bark was on show as well.
The parade concluded with a march of ceremonial regiments on Senate Square, including cadets of pre-university institutions of the Navy and boys of the Young Army movement.
Also attending the parade were the heads of state and heads of delegations of African nations that took part in the second Russia–Africa Summit. The President of Russia greeted the foreign guests and, after the parade, had a brief conversation with the President of the Republic of the Congo Denis Sassou Nguesso and the Interim President of Burkina Faso Ibrahim Traoré.
Vladimir Putin also spoke with the large family of the Gorelovs from Magadan, who were awarded the Order of the Parental Glory. The day before, during a videoconference meeting with large families who had gathered in the Kremlin, the President had promised the Gorelovs that he would help them attend the Main Naval Parade in St Petersburg.
The President of Russia, together with the African leaders, sailed to Kronstadt aboard a boat, taking time to see the warships deployed in the Gulf of Finland. In Kronstadt, Vladimir Putin accompanied his foreign guests to the Museum of Naval Glory.
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Speech at the parade devoted to the Russian Navy Day
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Fellow sailors and petty officers, midshipmen and officers, generals and admirals, veterans, citizens of Russia,
Congratulations on Russian Navy Day!
For centuries, our Fleet has been an indestructible guardian of the frontiers of our Fatherland, its pride and glory. This is why the whole of Russia, all the people take part in celebrations held in its honour.
Today we congratulate the brave ship and submarine crews, the fearless pilots of naval aircraft, ground services personnel, courageous soldiers of the coastal forces and our daring marines.
We gratefully venerate all the generations of Russian shipwrights, naval commanders and sailors. Their brilliant skills, loyalty to duty and the Motherland, professionalism and talent have determined the great destiny of Russia in many respects.
Since the time of Peter the Great, our Navy has been serving our country devotedly and wholeheartedly. Its chronicles include triumphant naval battle victories, round-the-world cruises and great geographical discoveries, outstanding achievements in science and technology.
Time and again, the Russian fleet has stood in the way of the enemy as an unassailable fortress. We remember the heroic defence of Port Arthur and of Sevastopol, Petropavlovsk and Leningrad, we recall the courage of the marines, the sailors defending Moscow, Stalingrad and the Arctic regions, storming bridgeheads on the Dnieper and the Danube rivers.
The history of development of our Russian Navy has formed its essence, its primary mission, which is to protect our Motherland.
This year, our heroic Navy celebrates a whole range of memorable events, today’s parade is devoted to them: The Baltic Fleet is 320 years old, the Northern Fleet, 290 years, and the Black Sea Fleet, 240.
Each of them has its proud history. Together with the Pacific Fleet and the Caspian Flotilla, they form the indestructible stronghold of our country’s defence capacity, reliably protecting the national interests of Russia in the World Ocean and firmly guarding centuries-old covenants of the naval military brotherhood, traditions of honour, dignity and passion for work.
The rigors of the fleet routine require the highest degree of responsibility, professionalism and resolve. You are ready to combat the sea element, head to head, you know the power of unity. Disregarding the risk, rigors of service and long separations, you understand the great value of family and home. You pass the most sacred thing from generation to generation: loyalty to your country.
Patriotism lies at the core of the special fleet culture which helps accomplish all missions set by the state in a worthy manner, invariably arousing people’s admiration for military sailors and pride in our fearless Navy.
More than a hundred years ago, Pyotr Stolypin described this pride as proof that the people had the power, the ability to keep the sea under their control.
Today, Russia confidently implements the ambitious objectives of the national maritime policy and steadily builds up the might of its Navy. This year alone, it will receive 30 ships of different classes.
Among the ships put on combat duty is the guided-missile corvetteMercury, named to honour the unfadable act of courage by the legendary brig’s crew. Almost two centuries ago, it single-handedly won a victory over two battleships. It is gratifying that the tradition of naming Russian fleet ships after it has been revived.
The St George’s naval flag has been raised on the new Mercury: this flag is a sign of the firmness of our naval traditions, a symbol of the courage, bravery and steadfastness of military sailors.
These qualities are fully apparent today. Our sailors give their all, display true heroism, fight nobly in the name of Russia, like our great predecessors.
I would like to thank the Russian Navy personnel for the flawless accomplishment of the tasks they have been set, for their reliability, diligence, fortitude and unfailing loyalty to the Motherland!
Glory to the Russian Navy!