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Wednesday, November 15 is one of the memorial dates for the Russian Navy -- the Day of the Caspian Flotilla
Wednesday, November 15 is one of the memorial dates for the Russian Navy -- the Day of the Caspian Flotilla. A naval port was founded in the southern city of Astrakhan on the Volga exactly on this day in 1722 upon a decree by Czar Peter I. Its ships were expected to defend the northern and western coast of the Caspian Sea. Soon after its foundation, the flotilla took part in Czar Peter’s Persian campaign of 1722 and 1723. In the 18th and 19th centuries, sailors of the flotilla joined forces with ground troops in various operations in the Caucasus, including the Russian-Persian war that lasted from 1803 through 1813. The Caspian flotilla was transformed into the Naval Force of the Astrakhan Territory in 1918, the next year after the Bolshevik revolution of 1917. This naval detachment was renamed several times in finally got the name of the Caspian Naval Flotilla June 17, 1931. Following a division of naval units between Russia and Azerbaijan that occurred April 16, 1992, the Azerbaijani military got under their command 30% of the flotilla’s ships and ground facilities, while Russia received 70% infrastructure and ships, mostly based in Astrakhan. The latter is the largest naval base in the Caspian littoral area along with the Azerbaijani capital Baku. Captain 2nd Rank Igor Sidorov, an assistant to the flotilla’s commander told Itar-Tass this branch of the Russian Navy will overhaul the bulk of its fleet by 2016. “We commissioned the first new ship in September,” he said. “Another five new ships will be added to our tables of equipment in three years’ time. A total of 85% of existing ships will be replaced by new ones having no analogues on the Caspian Sea.”
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