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Celebrations of Russian Navy Day and Ukrainian Navy Day

July 28, 2013, Sevastopol

Vladimir Putin and President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych laid wreaths at the Memorial to the Heroic Defence of Sevastopol in 1941–1942 and, from on board a boat, watched a naval parade of warships from the two countries’ Black Sea fleets.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Yanukovych, sailors and officers, admirals and generals, veterans,

I congratulate all of you on Russian Navy Day and Ukrainian Navy Day.

We are celebrating this important holiday together today, and it is symbolic that Sevastopol is the centre of the celebrations. It was here, in the Bay of Akhtiar, that the Black Sea squadron’s base was founded 230 years ago.

Sevastopol has since grown into a large and beautiful city, a legendary hero-city that bears the unfading legacy of our military glory, the place where a brotherhood of arms was forged between our peoples, and where pages in our common history were written, in which the navy always played a big part.

We are deservedly proud of our Black Sea Fleet. Its sailors fought bravely in the Russo-Turkish and Crimean wars, took part in the heroic campaigns led by Fyodor Ushakov, and gave their utmost in the fight against the Nazis during the Great Patriotic War.

Courage, honour, and loyalty to their duty as soldiers and their battle traditions are what always distinguished the sailors and what they have handed down from generation to the next.

Today, you join the parade as a single force, symbolising our ancestors’ strength and loyalty to their foundations. Our forebears lived for centuries together, worked together, defended their common homeland and made it strong, great and invincible.

We have common roots, a common culture and religion. We can feel this shared legacy especially strongly over these days as our countries celebrate the 1025th anniversary of the Baptism of Holy Rus. Our blood and spiritual ties are unbreakable.

Once again, I congratulate all the sailors on this holiday, those here at the parade ground and those out in the harbour or off on missions, and our dear veterans too of course.

I congratulate all Sevastopol residents, everyone living in this city that history has made a sacred and unbreakable link in the brotherhood between our peoples.

I wish you health, prosperity, and good fortune.

Glory to the sailors of Russia and Ukraine!

July 28, 2013, Sevastopol