How pitiful it is to take leave of the USSR’s former grandeur. The country where we were born has disappeared from geographical maps, and all we have now is to complain about unwise politicians. At the beginning of the 80s, in Nikolaev plant building an up-to-date aircraft-carrier Varyag was launched. This was the aircraft-carrier of new generation, leaving behind American “brothers” what about technical descriptions and quantity of armament on board. In its building, unique engineering working were used, allowing to aircraft to take off practically without starting run. The ship was prepared to 80 percent, when the USSR collapsed. After sharing the Black Sea Fleet, the unfinished ship passed to Ukraine. Of course, Ukraine did not have money to complete the building. The ship was gradually rusting, costly equipment was removed from it, while other details were stolen. Ukraine tried to sell what remained from the ship, though it did not find any serious buyers. Finally, a buyer appeared. That was a Chinese businessman who decided to turn the ship into a kind of floating casino. In its first and last trip to Chinese coast, Varyag should go this summer, though because of Turkey’s disagreement to let the ship pass through Bosporus, the trip was put off. Today, according to telegraph agencies, all contradictions are settled, and the ship went though Bosporus. 16 pilots were piloting the ship, while 250 people were guaranteeing its security from shore. Why China needs the ship is unknown, though there is a rumour China has some troubles in its aircraft-carrier programme. Lack of qualified staff and of experience in building ships of such a level does not allow to China to claim to world power standard. They probably, need the ship as a kind of visual aids. If China obtains what it plans, then in 5-10 years its ambitions will become a headache for Russia. Russia does not have funds for its fleet’s modernization, all the more for building a new one. Something is being done, though it is not enough. Why Russia did not buy the unfinished aircraft-carrier to complete its building? And now we could only regret the ship with its proud name “Varyag” has been turned into a gambling-den.
Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2001/11/02/33362.html