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Sevastopol to mark Black Sea Fleet Day

May 13, 2014, 8:47 UTC+3 SEVASTOPOL
Residents of the federal city of Sevastopol are celebrating the 231st anniversary since the Black Sea Fleet had been founded
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© ITAR-TASS/Stanislav Krasilnikov

SEVASTOPOL, May 13. /ITAR-TASS/. Residents of the federal city of Sevastopol and crews of the ships of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet are marking the 231st anniversary since the Black Sea Fleet had been founded.

On this day in 1783, a detachment of Russian ships under the command of Admiral Fyodor Klokachov entered the Akhtiarsky Bay, and the construction of the naval base and city of Sevastopol began a month later.

Flags will be hoisted at all the ships of the Black Sea Fleet on Tuesday and dress parades of the crews will be held, a spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry said.

A solemn prayer for the health and prosperity of the seamen will be held at St. Vladimir’s Cathedral, which is the main naval church of the Black Sea Fleet and the burial side of Russian admirals.

Commanders of the fleet are expected to lay flowers at the monument to Empress Catherine II, whose rule is associated with territorial appropriations from the Ottoman Empire and a broad development of naval forces.

Deputy Chief Commander of the Black Sea Fleet, Vice Admiral Alexander Fedotenkov, will hand a combat banner to the Admiral Nakhimov Black Sea Naval School.

Members of the Russian Crimea International Assembly of Noblemen - Alexander Trubetskoy, Dmitry Skakhovskoy, Dmitry De-Koshko, Sergei Kapnist, and Pyotr Sheremetyev, all of them members of outstanding Russian dynasties of the past, are expected to arrive in the city. They will visit the Bratsky cemetery where they will pray for the souls of soldiers who fell during the Crimean War.

Also, they will visit the 35th Coastal Battery and will meet with Admiral Alexander Vitko, the Black Sea Fleet Commander.

The Black Sea Fleet is a crucial element in the system of defense of Russia’s southern frontiers. Also, it commits its ships to Russia’s operative naval grouping in the Mediterranean. One of the tasks the Russian ships have been engaged in is escorting Syrian chemical weapons to the sites of destruction.

Besides, the fleet’s ships have taken part in the international antipiracy operation in the Gulf of Aden. All in all, they made nine long-distance cruises in 2013 and visited 37 ports in thirteen countries.

The Defense Ministry spokesman recalled that the governmental program for modernizing Russia’s armaments presupposes a full rearming of the Black Sea Fleet through to 2020. For his purpose, the government will allocate more than 86 billion rubles ($2.44 billion).

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