Russia celebrates Navy Day with major parades

July 30, 2017 10:30 pm
Russian marine forces have held some large-scale parades from posts in the Baltics to the shores of Syria as President Vladimir Putin bolsters the traditional Day celebrations to show off his country’s might to the rivals in the West.
Media reports said the parades were the biggest ever held on ’s annual Navy Day on Sunday. Warships, submarines and other naval hardware were on show along the Neva River, in the Gulf of Finland, in the Baltic Sea, in the Black Sea and off the Syrian base of Tartus in the eastern Mediterranean.
Putin oversaw the action off Saint Petersburg from his presidential cutter. He hailed the Russian Navy as an efficient force in the fight against terrorism.
“The navy is not only dealing with its traditional tasks but also responding with merit to new challenges, making a significant contribution to the fight against terrorism and piracy,” he said, adding, “Today much is being done to develop and modernize the navy.”
Some 50 warships and submarines contributed to the parade off Saint Petersburg while small-scale maneuvers were also held from Russia’s European exclave Kaliningrad on the Baltic Sea to posts on the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea and Vladivostok in the far-east.

Russian naval sailors march during Russia’s Navy Day celebration in Sevastopol in Crimea on July 30, 2017. (AFP photo)

Russian media said naval hardware was also on show at Tartus, a Russia-operated base in western Syria. The show-off in Tartus, which involved six vessels, including the latest generation “Krasnodar” diesel submarine, was a first for Moscow. Russia has been using the base over the past two years to help Syria in the fight against terror.
The bolstered naval parades come amid heightening military tensions between Russia and the West which began since  a conflict erupted in Ukraine three years ago. Accusing Russia of military interference in eastern Ukraine, the US-led NATO military alliance has been building up forces along Russia’s western borders. Russia, which denies allegations about Ukraine, has responded by beefing up deployments in the area, saying it is carefully watching NATO’s movements.
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