Russia shows off its largest warships at Navy Day parade as tensions with West heighten

Forty warships and submarines, including two of Russia’s largest nuclear-powered vessels, were on show at the Navy Day parade in St. Petersburg on Sunday, the biggest naval show Russia has put up in recent years.

Attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin, the parade was described by the state-run media as “the first principle naval parade in the newest Russia history.”

The event comes amid heightened tensions with the West, on the heels of the US Senate approving new sanctions against Russia, and is aimed at reminding the rest of the world that Russia is a maritime force the be reckoned with.

Defence minister Sergei Shoigu, president Vladimir Putin, and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Russia at a Navy Day reception  Credit: Alexei Nikolsky\TASS via Getty Images

Russia’s history is marked by numerous victories of the country’s “fearless navy,” Mr Putin said at the parade. “The country’s status as a mighty maritime power was earned by the courage of seamen and navy officers,” he said. 

“Today the navy not only tackles tasks traditional for it – it also rises to new challenges and contributes to the fight against terrorism and piracy,” Mr Putin said at the parade.

The event featured the flagship of Russia’s Northern Fleet, the nuclear-powered battlecruiser Petr Veliky, and the last of Russia’s Soviet-built Typhoon-class nuclear missile submarines, the Dmitry Donskoi.

Both were designed in the Soviet Union for long-range, deep-water operations and both are the largest of their kind in the world.  

The Chuvashia missile boat is seen on Neva river  Credit: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Petr Veliky is an active duty combat vessel. It weighs in at up to a reported 28,000 tons displacement.

Dmitry Donskoi, currently not an active duty combat vessel, belongs to the largest class of nuclear missile submarines ever built, the Typhoon class. Those submarines were decommissioned in the 1990s and 2000s. The Donskoi currently serves for testing new…

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