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75th anniversary since Convoy Dervish arrival in USSR to be marked in Edinburgh

August 30, 2016, 9:50 UTC+3 EDINBURGH
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EDINBURGH, Scotland, August 30. /TASS/. Ceremonies devoted to the 75th anniversary since Convoy Dervish arrival in the Soviet seaport of Arkhangelsk will be held in Edinburgh on Tuesday. The list of attendees includes about forty British veterans who risked their lives to deliver military supplies, medicines and foodstuffs to the USSR as part of the Lend Lease program.

Besides the family members and relatives of the Arctic Convoys veterans, the scope of participants in the ceremonies also includes Scottish government officials, mayors of the region’s cities, servicemen of the Royal Navy, and Russian diplomats.

The veterans will receive the Russian medals named after Admiral Fyodor Ushakov that are awarded upon the Russian President’s decrees.

Their honoring will continue with a gala parade from the Russian Consulate General to Her Majesty’s Yacht Britannia where they will receive welcome from the guards of honor and a Scottish brass band.

After the parade, the Russian Consulate General will hold a gala reception aboard the yacht that once was property of the royal family and now is a museum. The program of the official function includes performances by Russian and Scottish performing groups and a presentation of a unique photobook with historic pictures of participants in the Convoys and their recollections.

"Reception aboard HMY Britannia and other actions in the framework of celebration of the 75th anniversary since the arrival of Convoy Dervish in Arkhangelsk is part and parcel of the many years of efforts of the Russian Consulate General in Edinburgh to commemorate these Convoys," Consul General Andrei Pritsepov said on the eve of the function.

"A lot is to be done yet," he said. "We’ll assist the institution of a charity foundation that will render help to the veterans. We’ll organize fundraising for the construction of a separate museum devoted to the Convoys, for putting up a monument and for developing a tourist route that will embraces the sites linked to the Convoys."

Convoy Dervish consisting of five British ships and a Dutch ship left the port of Liverpool on August 12, 1941, and arrived in Arkhangelsk safely on August 31. It remained unnoticed by Nazi intelligence services.

From 1941 through to 1945, the British naval ships escorted 78 caravans of ships across Barents Sea to Murmansk and Arkhangelsk. The Convoys delivered to the USSR 4 million tons of cargoes, including more than 5,000 tanks and 7,000 warplanes.

During the period, the navy of the Third Reich wrecked 87 merchant ships and 18 ships of the Royal Navy, claiming the lived of 3,000 seamen.

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