If any additional proof was required that the United States is engaged in Cold War 2.0 with Russia, Vladimir Putin’s recent comments should have made it loud and clear. Last month, the leader of the Russian Federation said his nation’s military is constantly and successfully improving its naval armaments and has the ability to detect any enemy, and if necessary, deliver an inevitable strike against it.
“Russia has taken a worthy place among the leading naval powers within the shortest time possible, passed a colossal way of its development from a modest boat of [Russian Tsar] Peter the Great to powerful ocean-going naval ships and nuclear-powered underwater missile-carrying cruisers, created effective long-and short-range naval aviation, reliable coastal defense systems and the latest hypersonic precision weapons still unrivaled in the world, which we are improving constantly and successfully,” Putin said ahead of the Main Naval Parade, which took place on the Neva River along the fortress-port city of Kornshtadt on Sunday.
The Russian leader said the Russian Navy now has all the “necessary potential” to protect the Motherland and Russia’s interests, Tass reported.
“We are capable of detecting any underwater, surface, and aerial enemy and deliver an inevitable strike against it, if necessary,” Putin added, and praised the Russian Navy during the Navy Day celebrations, which he noted marked the 325th anniversary of the founding of the Russian military branch. “I am confident that the glory of the St. Andrew’s [Russian naval] flag will never fade away thanks to the professionalism and endurance of naval sailors and pilots, the personnel of marine infantry and coastal defense units, and their faithfulness to the Fatherland and the Russian Navy.”
Putin Loves a Parade
The Main Naval Parade in St. Petersburg involved some fifty combat vessels and more than 4,000 personnel, as well as about fifty aircraft taking part in a flyover. The Russian leader traditionally reviews the naval parade on the Neva River, and upon opening the event he delivers congratulations to the sailors of the Russian Navy. The national holiday is annually celebrated in Russia on the last Sunday of July.
“It [the holiday] is significant and dear to the whole of Russia and to our people because our Fatherland was put together and strengthened and its glory and grandeur were molded by the valor of naval sailors, their military bravery and the boldness of pioneering explorers,” Putin added. “The scope and versatility of strategic tasks that our Fleet has always coped with are amazing and cause admiration and pride. In October, it will already mark its 325th anniversary.”
Never Retreat, Never Surrender
This year’s parade came just weeks after Russia’s warships reportedly fired warning shots at a British guided-missile destroyer that Moscow claims sailed too close to the Russian-controlled Crimea. The Royal Navy has disputed that HMS Defender was in Russian waters and said the Russian warships were in engaged in a naval drill and never fired any warning shots.
The Russian Federation leader also recalled the behests of Russian Emperor Peter the Great sealed in the Navy’s Charter: “Never to lower the ship’s flag before any force, never to retreat or surrender the ship to the enemy.”
“I congratulate you on the holiday,” Putin told Russia’s sailors. “Long live the Russian Navy!”
Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers and websites. He regularly writes about military small arms, and is the author of several books on military headgear including A Gallery of Military Headdress, which is available on Amazon.com.