Russian Navy salutes its own with help from South Korea

On the centennial of an event that took place on February 9, 1904, a memorial to the heroism of the Russian crews of the cruiser Varyag and the gunboat Korean has been unveiled on the shore of Chemulpo Bay in the South Korean port city of Inchon on the Yellow Sea. [The two vessels took on a superior Japanese fleet and then, on order of their commander, were scuttled.] Taking part in the ceremony were personnel of the Russian Pacific Fleet, under the command of the fleet commander Admiral Viktor Fyodorov, from the cruiser Varyag, the anti-submarine fighter Admiral Tributs and the smaller anti-submarine vessel Korean, Rosbalt learned Thursday from the press service of the Russian Defense Ministry.

The 19-tonne memorial was flown to South Korea aboard a Russian military transport Il-76 and installed in an Inchon Park by the artist, Honored Sculptor Andrey Balashov. People's Artist Sergei Prisekin contributed to the design. Following tradition, the sculpture is marked at its base with a small Orthodox cross of cypress blessed by Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Aleksey II. The memorial shows a portion of sea reflecting the presence of the ship but does not show the vessel itself, according to Balashov.

'The idea is that the memorial reflects the ship as it exists in our memories, not in the water. We see a sailor's cap on the sea and a reflection of the doomed but not forgotten glorious ship and the heroism of its sailors,' Balashov said.

Along with the ceremonies, vessels of the Russian and South Korean fleets will conduct joint training maneuvers on Saturday. On their return home, the Russian ships will carry out a wide range of training exercises, including fleet maneuvers and artillery and rocket practice.

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