From St. Petersburg to Syria: Russia marks Navy Day with ship parades & shore assault demos
Navy Day is one of Russia’s major national holidays and is celebrated on the last Sunday of July. While the navy has over three centuries of history under its belt, the holiday in honor of its achievements and strength was established in 1939.
St. Petersburg, the former imperial capital that cemented Russia’s claim for dominance in the Baltic Sea in the 18th century, traditionally holds the biggest naval parade. Forty-three ships from all four Russian fleets sailed in front of spectators. Dozens of aircraft operated by the navy, including advanced Su-30SM fighter jets and Be-12 amphibious anti-submarine warfare planes, took part.
On land, around 4,000 sailors in white parade uniforms marched through the city’s Palace Square.
China and India sent two of their warships to take part in the big event in St. Petersburg – a testament to Russia’s growing defense cooperation with the two Asian powerhouses. Incidentally, the INS Tarkash, India’s visiting warship, was built by the Yantar Shipyard in Kaliningrad, Russia.
On the opposite side of the country, Russia’s Pacific Fleet was the first to start Navy Day celebrations thanks to the difference in time zones. Its show included a simulated amphibious assault by the marines, who used BTR-82A floating armored vehicles, speedboats, and landing craft to seize control of the shore.
Vietnam and the Philippines sent ships to take part in this year’s celebration in Vladivostok.
The festivities in Sevastopol, Crimea involved some overwhelming rocket fire from anti-submarine ships.
A relatively small naval parade in the Syrian port of Tartus, where Russia leases a base, was supported by aircraft provided by the air force. Su-35 fighter jets, Su-34 ground attack planes, and other planes flew over the nine ships and 500 troops taking part in the celebration.
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