04:58 GMT05 April 2020
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    SAN FRANCISCO (Sputnik) - Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov on Sunday observed a minute of silence and laid flowers to pay tribute to the Russian sailors buried in the Mare Island cemetery in Vallejo, California.

    The sailors served in the Imperial Russian Fleet and came to the area in 1863. They helped extinguish a fire that broke out in San Francisco during their stay.

    "Let us honor the memory of all Russian sailors buried here with a minute of silence," Antonov said. "I am confident that when we get past this period of stormy weather in Russia-US relations, our sailors will pay a visit of friendship to San Francisco and lay wreaths on behalf of the Russian Navy."

    "We all have to make efforts in order to restore the former friendship between our nations, which is a key factor to global stability and tranquility," the ambassador added.

    Antonov noted that this year marks the 155th anniversary since the arrival of the naval squadron of the Russian Imperial Fleet, commanded by Rear-Admiral Andrei Popov, in San Francisco. The diplomat stressed that their arrival was a gesture of great support by Russia for the United States.

    "On October 23, the Russian officers and sailors were already assisting in putting out an enormous fire that broke out in the city," he said. "According to historians, the presence of Russian warships here and on the American East Coast greatly contributed to the victory of Abraham Lincoln and the northern states in the American Civil War by preventing foreign powers from interfering into the conflict."

    READ MORE: Russian Envoy: Historic Endeavours Offer Key to Today's US-Russian Challenges

    "San Francisco did not forget the heroic deed of the Russian sailors," the envoy added. "We are grateful that the memory of it and of our compatriots buried here still lives on."

    Antonov went on to say that as of now the names of five out of the eight Russian sailors buried at this cemetery are known. It is the oldest cemetery on the West Coast.

    They are Artemy Trapeznikov, sailor 1-st class, who died from typhoid fever on November 8, 1863; Carl Kort, a musician, who died on December 2, 1864; Yakov Butorin, sailor 1-st class, who died on January 10, 1863; Ivan Presnov, who died on November 1st, 1904; and Petr Loboda, who died in 1905. The cruiser’s priest, Father Vasily Osipov died on October 29, 1905 and was buried at the Serbian cemetery in Colm.

    READ MORE: California Governor Wants to Expand Cooperation Between State, US, Russia


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