RUSSIAN PACIFIC FLEET MARKS TSUSHIMA MEMORIAL DAY

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VLADIVOSTOK, MAY 27, (RIA Novosti's Anatoly Ilyukhov) - The Russian Navy's Pacific fleet is marking Tsushima memorial day on May 27.

Russian sailors are remembering their ancestors, who died heroically in the battle of Tsushima straits 100 years ago.

Talking to RIA Novosti, officials at the Pacific fleet's press center noted that ship crews and the personnel of coastal units lined up in the morning. The St. Andrew flag was hoisted and funeral meetings held. Russian sailors stood silent for a minute.

The Pacific fleet's high command, top Primorye Territory administration and city-hall officials, Orthodox Christian priests and Pacific-fleet sailors will honor the heroes of the Tsushima naval battle at noon. The ceremony will take place at a monument to the Varyag cruiser's sailors in the Vladivostok naval cemetery.

On May 27, 1905 the Russian Navy's second Pacific squadron (Vice-Admiral Zinovy Rozhestvensky commanding) engaged superior Japanese forces in the Tsushima strait. The Russians had much less ships that were outgunned by the enemy.

It took the Russian squadron seven months to sail from the Baltic Sea to the Far East. That became an unprecedentedly heroic voyage.

The second Pacific squadron that had 38 warships and auxiliary ships fought Japanese forces for nearly 48 hours, losing 13 ships and more than 5,000 sailors.

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