Ships from bygone eras sailed alongside the modern navy fleet in the Neva River in St. Petersburg
Russia marked 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 the second largest from Russia.
The parade was led by a life-size replica of the ship of the line Poltava, one of several ships commanded 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 transported aboard Peter the Great’s wooden sailing ship nicknamed “The Grandfather of the Russian Navy”. The historic ship is normally kept at the Central Naval Museum in St. Petersburg.
The four-masted barque Sedov, one of the largest working sailing ships in the world, also took part in the celebration. The century-old ship, 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 repairs.
Among the modern ships on the Neva River was the stealthy nuclear-powered Severodvinsk, designed for missions under 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 said 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 flyovers by dozens of naval aircraft, including a squad of Su-25 jet fighters, which painted the sky the white, blue and red of the Russian flag.