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Petr Veliky Returns from Arctic

Petr Veliky Returns from Arctic 28.09.2012
Text: Vesti
Photo: vesti.ru
Northern Fleet (NF) flagship, nuclear-powered missile cruiser Petr Veliky is on her way home to Severomorsk. The ship has spent in the Arctic almost a month and covered two thirds of the Northern Sea Route. During that period, the ship's crew performed missile and gun firing drills, and practiced searching of "enemy" submarines.

Twenty days and almost 4,000 nautical miles left behind the stern. After almost 30 years, Russian Navy returns to the Arctic under the St. Andrew's Flag.

According to Sergei Zhuga, NF Missile Ship Division Commander, "from the Barents Sea through the Kara Sea to the Laptev Sea and New Siberian Islands we have passed two thirds of the Northern Sea Route". "If the task needs, we would reach Kamchatka in a week", he said.

The cruiser's crew was working above the Arctic Circle for the first time. There are sharply-changing weather, lot of ice, and short daylight. One of the episodes was especially difficult. Rescue ship Altai was in need of fresh water. Boatswain's crew of the cruiser cast off mooring cables on the move. Wind and rocking complicated the work; for many sailors, that was the first deployment. Chief boatswain of the cruiser Boris Pozur tells that "this time we have many draftees who take the sea for the first time. So, contracted sailors teach them how to follow and accomplish commands". The ships spent about two hours in such "tied" condition transferring fresh water.

In the next morning, afterdeck of Petr Veliky is crowded again, but this time there are marines. Even though the cruiser is heading homeward, onboard drills are held every day. Sometimes, various training alert signals are heard several times a day. This time, marines practiced protection of heliport from sea raiders.

In the off-duty time, one can go in for sports. Boatswain's crew knit special rugs called matlets; they are used for the ship's needs and are a tribute to traditions. "Knitting out of mooring cables goes back to Peter the Great times", explains Ivan Zaidov, painter of the boatswain's crew.

Watch bell is also a sort of tradition. It rings every hour telling the ship's time and bringing closer the moment when the world's biggest nuclear cruiser moors at homebase Severomorsk.

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