Rus­sia shows off naval might with ma­jor pa­rade

Muscat Daily - - WORLD -

Saint Petersburg, Rus­sia - Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin on Sun­day over­saw a pomp-filled display of Rus­sia’s naval might as the Krem­lin pa­raded its sea power from the Baltic Sea to the shores of Syria.

Some 50 war­ships and sub­marines were on show along the Neva River and in the Gulf of Fin­land off the coun­try’s sec­ond city of Saint Petersburg af­ter Putin or­dered the navy to hold its first ever pa­rade on such a grand scale.

“To­day much is be­ing done to de­velop and mod­ernise the navy,” Putin told ser­vice­men af­ter sur­vey­ing the mil­i­tary hard­ware from his pres­i­den­tial cut­ter.

“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.”

The show­case event to mark Rus­sia’s an­nual Navy Day is the lat­est to be beefed up by Putin, with the Krem­lin strong­man also bol­ster­ing the tra­di­tional WWII vic­tory pa­rade in Moscow as he looks to flex the coun­try’s mil­i­tary mus­cles.

Rus­sia has ramped up its mil­i­tary ma­noeu­vres as ties with the West have slumped over Moscow’s med­dling in Ukraine, un­nerv­ing NATO and its mem­bers in East­ern Europe.

Smaller naval pa­rades were also tak­ing place from Rus­sia’s Euro­pean ex­clave Kalin­ingrad on the Baltic Sea to the an­nexed Black Sea penin­sula of Crimea and Vladi­vos­tok in the far-east.

For the first time Moscow also showed off its naval hard­ware at its Syr­ian base of Tar­tus in the east­ern Mediter­ranean, where Rus­sian ships have played a promi­nent role back­ing up a bomb­ing cam­paign in sup­port of leader Bashar As­sad.

Rus­sian news wire In­ter­fax re­ported that six ves­sels - in­clud­ing the lat­est gen­er­a­tion Krasnodar diesel sub­ma­rine - were tak­ing part in the pa­rade.

Moscow and Da­m­as­cus in Jan­uary signed a 49 year deal for Rus­sia to ex­pand and mod­ernise the fa­cil­ity at Tar­tus, fur­ther ce­ment­ing the Krem­lin’s in­flu­ence in the re­gion af­ter its game-chang­ing mil­i­tary in­ter­ven­tion.

For the first time Moscow also showed off its naval hard­ware at its Syr­ian base of Tar­tus in the east­ern Mediter­ranean

(AFP)

Rus­sian sailors stand on the deck of a rocket ship dur­ing the Naval Mil­i­tary Pa­rade, in Saint Petersburg on Sun­day

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