St. Petersburg marks the Navy Day. The festivities have been spectacular in the country’s naval capital - kicking off with a ship parade on Neva, followed by exhibition fight in the 300-anniversary park and a concert at Dvortsovaya Square, headed by pop-singer Zara. The day was culminated with fireworks - to praise all those who are out in the sea. Alexandra Lee joined the celebrations
These helicopters, used to rescue people in peaceful times, were the first to take the stage in the exhibition battle. Suddenly - a marine boat comes out of nowhere to help fighting the supposed enemy. It is unique in terms of its capacities - it can deliver war machines weighing up to 45 tons. Something immediately demonstrated to the excited public.
Alexandra Lee, reporter: «Large-scale exhibition battle to mark the Navy Day is held like this for the first time in St. Petersburg. It involves more than a hundred people - marines, aviation and sailors. Now, they are engaged in a fistfight. Here, at the 300-anniversary Park, is where the supposed enemy’s lair is - and its almost hit. It had been sunny all morning, but just before the battle began, it started to rain - as if testing the might of both the enemy and of our soldiers. But this weather suggested that Russia’s Navy always has wind in its sails!»
And that wind was put to good use too - to blow into the Andreevskiy banner, known so well by the Russians, over the shore of the supposed enemy.
Georgiy Poltavchenko, Governor of St. Petersburg: «Peter the Great said once - Russia went from darkness to light through military craft. It is the best way to describe the essence of our army - by victories of our navy men. Thanks to them Russia became great. And it will always be!»
All those wartoys which are already in use and will be deployed could be seen today. Guests of the event were treated to the newest designs, signifying the might of Russia’s navy. And you could even touch those.
Anton Zhidkov, guest at the event: «Boys of course wanted to shoot - noise explosions, helicopters, wartoys, gear, modern weapons. We can definetely see that our army has changed»
Even though it was changing, weather was still nice on the day. Only eyes of those marching in the parade were shining brighter than the morning sun, and brand new ships and submarines were glowing in the reflections from Neva’s surface. Even those which have not been officially put on the Navy’s books yet. All that is exactly how Peter the Great wanted - and he was mentioned a lot today.
Alexander Fedotenkov, deputy commander of the Russain Navy: «The Emperor said, as if looking through the centuries - all of our deeds will fail, if we lose our fleet. We wont lose it. This year we are accepting more than 50 submarines, ships, boats of different class, on-shore missile complexes into the ranks of the Russian Navy»
The naval event was followed by a concert at the city’s main square. Dancing groups, best singers - including those from the Mariinskiy Theatre and, of course, a military orchestra. The event was hosted by the birthday girl - pop-singer Zara.
Zara, singer: «Im good friends with sailors. I have been performing at different events since i was 12, so thats why this is not the first time im celebrating my birthday working on the Navy Day. But its a great joy to me - i think its a good coinsidence»
This long summer day was culminated with fireworks by the walls of the Petropavlovskaya Fortress. Rounds to honor men of the navy - defenders of Russia - were fired at 10.30pm