A squadron of combat ships of the Black Sea Fleet, making a goodwill cruise, entered the Mediterranean, the officers of the staff of the Black Sea Fleet of Russia, based in Sevastopol, reported on Tuesday.
The flagship - the Moskva missile-carrying cruiser and the Pytlivy escort ship under the pendant of deputy commander of the Black Sea Fleet Vice-Admiral Yevgeny Orlov headed for Toulon - the main naval base of France and for Latakia port in Syria with friendly visits.
The large landing ship Yamal led by deputy commander of the Black Sea Fleet for armament Rear-Admiral Alexander Kovshar headed for the Greek island of Corfu. Beginning with Wednesday, the Black Sea sailors will participate there in the days of memory of legendary Russian naval commander Fyodor Ushakov under whose command the island was freed from the foreign invaders in 1799. A memorial will be opened on Corfu in honour of the famed admiral who was canonised by the Russian Orthodox Church.
The sailors also honoured the memory of the heroes of the Navarino battle who defended independence of Greece from the Ottoman Empire 175 years ago. In October 1827, the squadrons of Russia, Great Britain and France came out against Turkey which had violated the London convention on autonomy of Greece. The Russian squadron under command of Rear-Admiral Login Geiden and Captain 1st rank Mikhail Lazarev made the main contribution to the victory in Navarino Bay. In the course of the four-hour battle the enemy fleet was routed, having lost 60 ships and about 7,000 men. The allies did not lose a single ship but the victory took the lives of 800 Russian sailors. The local inhabitants call Sfaktiria island where the liberators are buried Russian Island of Hellas.
The cruise of the ships of the Black Sea Fleet to the Mediterranean will last till the beginning of November.