On Tuesday the Navy of Russia is marking the 296th anniversary of the creation of the Russian naval infantry. The history of Russia's marines began in November 1705 when, pursuant to a decree of Peter I, the formation of a regiment of naval infantry for boarding, landing and marching service on the ships of the Baltic Fleet started. Since that time the marines have covered a long and glorious way of combat. The Russian marines won victories over the enemy in the Gangut sea battle of 1714, during the rout of the Turkish Navy in Cesme Harbour in 1770, and in taking the Ismail fortress on the Danube in 1790 and the French fortress Corfu in the Ionian Sea in 1799. Within three weeks in that same year a Russian marine landing force took Naples by storm, liberating ally Italy from the French and entered Rome. In 1812-1813 the Russian naval infantrymen distinguished themselves in the battles against the French near Borodino and Kulma and in the siege of the Danzig fortress. In 1854-1855 the marines defended Sevastopol from the Anglo-French and Turkish troops, and in 1904 defended Port Arthur from the Japanese troops. In the years of World War II about 500,000 sailors fought on the land fronts in the marines battalions, regiments and brigades. As chief of the land and coastal troops of the Navy of Russia Lieutenant-General Pavel Shilov said, at the present time the naval infantry of Russia is elite of the Armed Forces. Naval infantry includes the division of the Pacific Fleet, the detached brigades of the Northern and Baltic Fleets and of the Caspian Military Flotilla, and the detached regiment of the Black Sea Fleet.
As November 4 approaches (on this day, Russia and Belarus are to sign union programs), disputes between supporters and opponents of the integration become increasingly heated