Russian Navy

Russian mariners in Pilos

Joint Russian-French-British squadron defeated almost twice powerful Turkish-Egyptian fleet in Navarino Harbor on October 20, 1827. In the context of 182nd anniversary of that memorable battle the festivities were held in Greek port Pilos. Among guests were the crewmembers of RNS Caesar Kunikov.
Tuesday morning participants of the celebration drew together at Pilos City Hall where ladies dressed in Greek national costumes brought flags of winning countries. Later on, honor guards of Greek Army and Navy along with Russian seamen and marines marched to the military band accompaniment towards Square of the Three Admirals which opens up picturesque view of Navarino bay. National anthems of four countries were played and flags were hoisted in commemoration of events happened almost two hundred years ago. Then was orthodox moleben and afterwards Greek and Russian mariners paraded along the Pilos shore front.

In the evening the Russian military band and "St. Andrew's Flag" Ensemble gave a huge concert at Square of the Three Admirals. They played Russian popular songs and romances, and also Greek melodies beloved by locals. "We thank Russia for the celebration arranged at our place", said one of them. When the concert was finished, the mayor of Pilos George Chronopoulos declared decision to award Col. Igor Knyazev, Chief of Black Sea Fleet Orchestra directing the band with a title of honorary citizen. "You are our estimable and eminent citizen, brother for the people of Pilos", said the mayor to Knyazev.

According to the mayor, local authorities promote an idea to establish Museum of Navarino Battle in Pilos with interactive panorama of the battle. "There were a number of bureaucratic protractions but now building for the future museum is defined and hopefully the exhibition will be opened in a year", said the mayor.

It is important to note that large amphibious ship Caesar Kunikov called at Pilos after informal visit to Greek port Corfu. That visit was associated with social forum "Russian Week at Corfu" and Memorial Day in honor of famed Russian admiral Fiodor Ushakov. Under his command, Russian sailors freed the island from foreign invaders in 1799. In accordance with visit program, Capt 1 rank Sergei Zinchenko, cruise commander and Capt 2 rank Sergei Larchuk, Commander of LAS Caesar Kunikov paid a call to mayor of Corfu Mr. Satiris Mikhalev.

The official meeting of Corfu municipal authorities with Russian mission and diplomatic corps in Greece were held in the atmosphere of kindness. Among guests were Nikos Kanoulas, Russian honorable consul on the Ionian Islands, Valery Ganichev, Chairman of the Russian Guild of Writers, astronaut-pilot Sergei Treschev etc. Addressing the meeting, mayor of Corfu expressed appreciation of Ionian islanders to Russian mariners for their invaluable contribution to national liberation struggle of Hellas people against foreign invaders. Cruise commander Capt 1 rank Sergei Zinchenko in response speech expressed thanks to Greek party for supplying the ship at port and traditional open-armed welcome.

Source: Krasnaya Zvezda, Author: Vladimir PASYAKIN. 22.10.09

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