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Putin Leads Russia's Navy Day in Saint Petersburg

© Sputnik / Michael Klimentyev / Go to the photo bankRussian President Vladimir Putin on the Serafim Sarovsky boat during a parade of ships held to celebrate the Navy Day in St. Petersburg
Russian President Vladimir Putin on the Serafim Sarovsky boat during a parade of ships held to celebrate the Navy Day in St. Petersburg - Sputnik International
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Russian President Vladimir Putin led Navy Day celebrations in Saint Petersburg.

"I congratulate all who are guarding the maritime borders of our motherland, who are serving on surface vessels and submarines, marine aviation and coastal defense troops, who work at shipbuilding factories, all those who protect the interests of our homeland, uphold the honor of our flag in the global ocean, fight piracy and terrorism, and provide safe boat traffic," the president said addressing Baltic Fleet servicemen.

Navy Day is celebrated in Russia on the last Sunday of July. This year it falls on July 31.

The president thanked the families of Navy servicemen for their support:

"Navy Day is not just a state holiday but your family holiday as well, being an old and exalted Navy tradition."

The President boarded the Aurora cruiser, examined the top deck and the radio cabin. The Aurora's commander put him in the picture about the reconstruction works of the vessel.

Putin congratulated Navy veterans, for whom "[Navy Day] became their fate, purpose of life, the most important issue."

The head of the Russian state added that currently the Russian Navy is receiving "modern vessels equipped with advanced arms" to make it capable of tackling existing challenges and threats.

Putin's visit to the legendary ship was broadcast on the Senate Square, one of the city's main sites, which has hosted thousands of people gathered to celebrate the Navy Day.

The Navy Day is one of the most popular holidays in Russia. Every naval base hosts concerts and firework displays at the end of festivities.

The Aurora cruiser is a Russian unique historical monument, a symbol of the October Revolution in 1917. This is the only ship of the national fleet, which participated in the Russo-Japanese War, the World War I and the Great Patriotic War. It has been under reconstruction works since September of 2014.

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