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Plaque to remember Russian cruiser wrecked off Scotland in 1920

ST. PETERSBURG, July 24 (RIA Novosti) - A memorial plaque for a legendary Russian warship that sank off southern Scotland in 1920 will appear near the wreck site next week, spokesmen for St. Petersburg's city hall said Monday.

The plaque commemorating the imperial cruiser Varyag will be unveiled in the town of Lendlefoot, on the Firth of Clyde, in a ceremony timed to coincide with Russia's Navy Day next Sunday.

Georgy Poltavchenko, the presidential envoy to Russia's Central Federal District who suggested mounting the plaque as part of a wider campaign to pay tribute to the nation's naval heroes, said the idea was "to remind those who cherish the glory of the Russian Navy about the feats of the Varyag and her crew, as well as about [other] not-so-well-known pages of our history."

The Varyag, built for Russia in the United States in 1899, was one of the most elegant and fastest ships of her time, with a test speed of almost 25 knots.

In 1904, she was trapped by a Japanese squadron in the Korean port of Chemulpo and was scuttled by the crew to prevent her from falling into enemy's hands.

Lifted by the Japanese off the seabed a year later, she spent the following decade sailing as a training vessel.

Bought back by Russia along with other ships captured by Japan during early-20th-century hostilities, the Varyag rejoined the ranks as the nation's Arctic Fleet flagship in 1916.

In 1917, it was sent for repairs to a Glasgow shipyard, only to be impounded by Britain following the Bolshevik government's refusal to pay imperial debts.

A grandson of the Varyag's captain, Vsevolod Rudnev, is expected to attend the ceremony as part of a large Russian delegation, which will include members of the public as well as government officials.

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