Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Crew of cruiser Varyag obtained a name bell and an icon

A solemn handing-over ceremony of name bell and consecrated Orthodox icon to the crew of Pacific Fleet (PF) flagship – Guard missile cruiser Varyag – was held on Tuesday in Fokino Naval Base, Far East, reported RIA Novosti referring to Capt 1 rank Roman Martov, PF Press Secretary. 

"Representatives of Russian charitable fund "CruiserVaryag" handed over a name shipborne bell and an Orthodox icon to the ship's crew. Up to this day, the bell had a name of Chervona Ukraina which used to be the ship's name until 1991. Now, there is a bell with inscription Varyag on the deck. The previous bell will be a showpiece in the cruiser's historical museum", explained the interviewee. 

According to him, the Orthodox icon was painted by craftsmen of Moscow Eparchy especially for the crew. The handing-over ceremony was held on the eve of 107th anniversary of the heroic battle took place on Feb 9, 1904 off Korean port Chemulpo; the legendary Russian cruiser Varyag and gunboat Koreyets participated in that battle. 
"Russian sailors shot 1,105 shells during the loosing battle against Japanese. Varyag wrecked a destroyer and damaged two cruisers. Then Varyag and Koreyets returned into the harbor; then it was decided to sink the cruiser and explode the gunboat. Crewmembers escaped to warships of neutral countries", said the interviewee. 

Modern cruiser Varyag is a successor of the same-named legendary ship which crew won glory during the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905) in the naval battle off Chemulpo. Guided missile cruiser Varyag is armed with powerful multipurpose attack missile system capable to destroy sea- and land surface targets at significant distances. 

Also, the ship's arsenal includes antisubmarine rocket launchers, torpedo tubes, and several gun mounts of different calibers and purposes. Russian ships of this class are known in NATO as "flattop killers".

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