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    RUSSIAN PACIFIC FLEET CELEBRATES ANNIVERSARY

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    VLADIVOSTOK, May 21 (RIA Novosti) - On Friday, the Russian Pacific Fleet celebrates the anniversary of its founding. The day began with the St. Andrew Ensign (a white right-angled flag with an oblique cross) being raised, a spokesman for the press center of the Russian Pacific Fleet reported.

    Commanders, veterans and sailors then participated in a wreath and flower laying ceremony at the Combat Glory of the Pacific Fleet eternal flame memorial in Vladivostok, the administrative center of the Far East on the western shore of the Sea of Japan. The main base of the Russian Pacific Fleet is in Vladivostok. (The time difference with Moscow is + 7 hours.)

    On May 21, 1731, the Senate of the Russian Empire created the Okhotsk military port "to defend the lands, commercial sea ways and fishing areas." That was the first Russian naval port in the Sea of Okhotsk (part of the Pacific Ocean), the press center spokesman said.

    Naval ships from the Okhotsk port guarded the water borders and the natural resources of Russia in the Far East 273 years ago.

    Presently, the Pacific Fleet defends the security of Russia in the Asia-Pacific Region. To carry out this task, it has modern nuclear strategic and multipurpose submarines, surface vessels for conducting military operations on the open ocean and on coastal zones, and missile-carrying, anti-submarine and aircraft carrying, naval infantry and patrol forces.

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