Ukraine's Navy Day marked in Odesa on July 1
Ukraine marks its Navy Day in Odesa on July 1.
Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak has arrived in the port city to attend official events, an UNIAN correspondent said.
Local authorities, retired Navy officers, civilian volunteers, military chaplains, and the public were present during the events, which took place at the Odesa port's marine passenger terminal.
The celebration began with the ceremony of transferring small-sized armored artillery boats of the Project 58155 [Gurza-M class] "Vyshgorod," "Lubny," "Kremenchuk," "Nikopol," built by private joint-stock company "Shipbuilding Plant Kuznya on Rybalsky," to the Navy.
Director of the plant Valery Shandra greeted all those present and expressed the hope that the company would be able to build and transfer ships and boats to the fleet in the very near future that will compensate for the loss due to the annexation of Crimea by Russia in March 2014 when Ukraine lost most of its fleet.
The naval flag along with the dressing lines was raised on the flagship of the Ukrainian Navy – the Ukrainian frigate Hetman Sahaydachniy (U130) and the support vessels moored in the vicinity of the marine terminal.
Those attending the events may see weapons and military equipment, diving, search and rescue equipment on display. Also, tactical capabilities of small armored artillery boats are being showcased as part of the official events.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Oleksandr Turchynov greeted the Ukrainian Navy on its day.
President Petro Poroshenko thanked servicemen of the Ukrainian Navy for their dedication to military service, courage and heroism. "On behalf of the Ukrainian people I sincerely thank all the personnel of the Navy of the Armed Forces of Ukraine for their devotion to military duty, courage and heroism," the president wrote on Facebook on July 1.
He expressed the hope that by joint efforts, Ukraine will continue developing as a seafaring nation, and the national flag will again be raised on Ukrainian ships in Sevastopol, a city annexed by Russia along with Crimea.
"Despite the great losses after Russian aggression, the maritime industry and the Navy are restoring their potential. Today, in fact, we're seeing the revival of the national fleet in new places of deployment and stationing on mainland Ukraine," NSDC Secretary Turchynov said in turn.
According to him, one of the largest national priorities as of now is the further strengthening of the security and defense sector. The government is making efforts to restore and modernize the naval core of the fleet in accordance with NATO standards. Modern, fast and innovative naval forces capable of protecting the people of Ukraine and national interests in the marine and coastal environment should be built, he said.