On Thursday, Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias visited the flagship of the Northern Fleet, the nuclear-powered battlecruiser TARKR 099 Pyotr Veliki, the world’s largest non-aviation warship. On 28 July 2012, a decree of the President of the Russian Federation awarded the Order of Nakhimov to the cruiser “for the courage, dedication, and professionalism shown by the ship company in performing its command assignments”. During his pastoral visit, he told sailors:
The readiness of the Northern Fleet, which keeps the peace in Russia and abroad, depends largely on the spiritual strength and faith of its sailors; spiritual support of our forces is one of the key tasks of the Church. Those who take the military oath especially need spiritual help; we all believe that the sailors of the Northern Fleet will show full combat readiness if they have strong faith and strong spirit.
Addressing the staff of the Northern Fleet after his arrival in Severomorsk, Vladyki Kirill emphasised:
As we’re a nuclear power, spiritual healthiness in our personnel is key to maintaining the peace, both domestically and globally; it guarantees that they can carry out their duties, with all that such brings to the life of the Motherland. Maybe, one day, there may come a time that the outcome of a battle or a successful endeavour will depend precisely on the spiritual state of our soldiers.
In turn, Vice-Admiral N A Yevmenov, Commander of the Northern Fleet, told the patriarch:
For all Orthodox, a word from our pastor and the Word of God mean a lot. Let’s take some examples… Admirals Ushakov and Nakhimov are holy names for every one of the Orthodox warriors under the flag of St Andrew the Apostle. Our grandfathers fought under this flag… under this flag, we go out to sea and carry out our service. The words, “All those who go to sea pray to God”… these aren’t empty words for us.
18 August 2016
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СВЕТЛАЯ ПАМЯТЬ … BRIGHT MEMORY
On 12 August 2000, an accident in a training exercise in the Barents Sea led to the disaster of the sinking of the PLARK K 141 Kursk, a Nuclear-powered Cruise Missile Submarine (SSGN/PLARK) of the Project 949A Antei class. The Kursk ended on the seafloor 108 metres below the surface. We remember; we mourn! This was one of the most tragic dates at the beginning of the third millennium. K141 Kursk was laid down in Severodvinsk in 1992, launched in May 1994, and joined the fleet on 30 December 1994. From 1995 to 2000, it was a unit of the Northern Fleet of the Russian Federation. In March 1995, Bishop Ioann, Rector of the Belgorodsky Seminary, blessed the submarine and its crewmen. Then, Vladyki Ioann gave the ship a copy of the 700-year-old icon of the Most Holy Birthgiver of Kursk; he also gave each submariner a small icon of St Nicholas the Wonderworker, to be a protector and intercessor. In 1999, during an operation off Yugoslavia, Kursk covertly surveilled the US Navy warship Theodore Roosevelt, whose planes were bombing Yugoslavia. During this time, Kursk completed five simulated attacks on the Roosevelt, all of which were successful. On 12 August 2000, Kursk took part in exercises, with 24 cruise missiles and a full load of torpedoes onboard. The Kursk tried to launch cruise missiles at a target, but an accident occurred… the sub sank to the ocean floor 108 metres under the surface of the Barents Sea, 175 kilometres from Severomorsk. Captain of the First Rank Lyachin and the entire crew died… in all, there were 118 victims. Later on, the Navy returned the remains of the majority of them to the surface and buried them together. On 26 August 2000, President Putin signed a decree honouring the memory of the crew. On 11 September 2000, one of the mountains in the central Caucasus mountain range received the name “Kursk”… to commemorate the crew of the submarine.
11 August 2016
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The US military system is set up to produce “Managers”… the Russian military system is set up to produce “Leaders”. Perhaps, that’s why the Yanks couldn’t truly win in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Georgia, and the Ukraine… they gamed it out, but reality came and bit them hard, didn’t it? Nikolai Gerasimovich was right… he wasn’t a “perfumed prince” like the current crop of American generals…
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