World: Putin attends naval parade, promises new ships to navy

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MOSCOW (AP) — President Vladimir Putin said the Russian navy will get 40 new ships and vessels this year, as he attended a naval parade in St. Petersburg on Sunday marking the Navy Day in Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, second left, and Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, left, arrive to attend the military parade during the Navy Day celebration in St.Petersburg, Russia, Sunday, July 26, 2020. (Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP) © Provided by Associated Press Russian President Vladimir Putin, second left, and Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, left, arrive to attend the military parade during the Navy Day celebration in St.Petersburg, Russia, Sunday, July 26, 2020. (Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP) CORRECTS NAME OF COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF - Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, right, and Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy Nikolai Yevmenov, left arrive to attend the military parade during the Navy Day celebration in St.Petersburg, Russia, Sunday, July 26, 2020. (Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP) © Provided by Associated Press CORRECTS NAME OF COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF - Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, right, and Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy Nikolai Yevmenov, left arrive to attend the military parade during the Navy Day celebration in St.Petersburg, Russia, Sunday, July 26, 2020. (Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

The parade in St. Petersburg and the nearby town of Kronshtadt featured 46 ships and vessels and over 4,000 troops and aimed to “demonstrate the growing power of our navy,” Putin said Friday.

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CORRECTS NAME OF COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF - Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy Nikolai Yevmenov arrive to attend the military parade during the Navy Day celebration in St.Petersburg, Russia, Sunday, July 26, 2020. (Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP) © Provided by Associated Press CORRECTS NAME OF COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF - Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy Nikolai Yevmenov arrive to attend the military parade during the Navy Day celebration in St.Petersburg, Russia, Sunday, July 26, 2020. (Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

He said 40 ships and vessels of different classes will enter service this year, and that the Russian navy will be equipped with hypersonic weapons to boost its combat capabilities.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, and Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy Nikolai Yevmenov, foreground, arrive to attend the military parade during the Navy Day celebration in St.Petersburg, Russia, Sunday, July 26, 2020. (Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP) © Provided by Associated Press Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, and Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy Nikolai Yevmenov, foreground, arrive to attend the military parade during the Navy Day celebration in St.Petersburg, Russia, Sunday, July 26, 2020. (Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Opening the parade, he said that “six more vessels for the far-sea zone were laid down at Russia's three leading shipyards” in the past few days.

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Russian military landing ship Pyotr Morgunov attends the military parade during the Navy Day celebration in Kronshtadt outside St.Petersburg, Russia, Sunday, July 26, 2020. (Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP) © Provided by Associated Press Russian military landing ship Pyotr Morgunov attends the military parade during the Navy Day celebration in Kronshtadt outside St.Petersburg, Russia, Sunday, July 26, 2020. (Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

The Kremlin has made military modernization its top priority amid tensions with the West that followed Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Crimea.

Russian Navy's oceanographic research vessel © Provided by Associated Press Russian Navy's oceanographic research vessel "Admiral Vladimirsky" takes part in the military parade during the Navy Day celebration in Kronshtadt outside St.Petersburg, Russia, Sunday, July 26, 2020. (Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Similar parades marking Russia’s Navy Day on Sunday took place in the Far Eastern cities of Vladivostok and Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsk, Sevastopol in the annexed Crimea, the seaport towns of Severomorsk and Baltiysk, Kaspirsk in the south of Russia and the port city of Tartus in Syria.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, arrives to attend the military parade during the Navy Day celebration in St.Petersburg, Russia, Sunday, July 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky, Pool) © Provided by Associated Press Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, arrives to attend the military parade during the Navy Day celebration in St.Petersburg, Russia, Sunday, July 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky, Pool)

Earlier this week Putin attended a ceremony of keel-laying of new warships in Crimea and pledged to continue an ambitious program of building new warships, saying that Russia needs a strong navy to defend its interests and “help maintain a strategic balance and global stability.”

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