Vessels from bygone eras sailed alongside the Navy’s modern fleet in the Neva River in St. Petersburg
Russia celebrated its Navy Day on Sunday with annual parades across the country, including the main one in the city of St. Petersburg.
This year’s event marked 350 years since the birth of Peter the Great, the 18th-century Russian emperor who created the country’s first regular Navy and founded the city that bears his name, which is now Russia’s second largest.
The parade was led by a full-sized replica of the ship of the line Poltava, one of many vessels ordered by Peter the Great. The 54-gun ship was named after a major victory over the invading Swedish army during the Great Northern War (1700-1721).
The landing ship Ivan Pasko was carried aboard Peter the Great’s wooden sailboat dubbed ‘The Grandfather of the Russia Navy.’ The historic vessel is normally kept at the Central Naval Museum of St. Petersburg.
The four-masted barque Sedov, one of the world’s biggest sailing ships in operation, also took part in the celebration. The 100-year-old vessel, which is still used to train sailing crews, was built in Germany and handed over to the Soviet Union as part of World War II reparations.
Among the modern ships in the Neva River was the stealth nuclear-powered Severodvinsk, which is designed for missions under the Arctic ice and equipped with Kalibr cruise missiles. It was the first submarine to launch a Zircon hypersonic anti-ship missile in 2021.
In a speech kicking off the parade, President Vladimir Putin declared that the Navy would start receiving the Zircons “in the coming months.” The first warship to be armed with the weapon is the frigate Admiral Gorshkov, which carried out the initial test of the missile in 2020.
The St. Petersburg parade concluded with flybys by dozens of naval aircraft, including a squad of Su-25 jet fighters, which painted the sky in the white, blue and red of the Russian flag.