Russian Navy Day 2023 Roll-Up

Today, the Russian Federation held its annual primary Navy Day celebration in St. Petersburg, Russia. The ceremony took 2 hours and began with President Putin departing Peter and Paul Fortress onboard his presidential review yacht. The Admiralty Navy Band and the presidential guard honor platoon oversaw his departure. President Putin, Defense Minister Shoigu, and the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy reviewed the half-dozen vessels including several historical vessels from the age of sail and steam age. Most notable were the major surface combatants, missile Frigate Neustrashimy (772) the namesake of the class, the Buyan-m class Frigate Zeleny Dol (562), and another Buyan-M class frigate of which the hull number was not visible.

While President Putin was reviewing the docked vessels, about forty minor and major surface combatants from the North, Black, Baltic Sea FLeets, and the Caspian Flotilla sailed towards the Neva River. President Putin departed the review yacht at Senate Square and delivered his remarks, followed by a 21-gun salute.

During his remarks, world leaders from Russian allied countries were present including the Commander of the Iranian Navy Admiral Shahram Irani, as well as the heads of four African states (including the Republic of the Congo, Burkina Faso, Eritrea, and Mali) who were in the city for the Russia–Africa Summit. During these remarks, President Putin told the world that more than thirty vessels of varying classes would be delivered to the Russian Armed Forces in 2024 alone.

Following President Putin’s speech, the primary naval precession took place on the Neva River. The parade was led off by three patrol boats of the Russian Coast Guard including hull numbers 651, 689 (RFS Nakhimovets), and 695. Those vessels were followed by several patrol boats of unknown hull number but of the Raptor-class anti-saboteur boats.

Following these minor surface combatants, the first of the major surface combatants sailed past Senate Square. First was the Buyan-M Class missile corvette Uglich (653) and the Karakurt missile corvette Sovetsk (577).

Next came the main event of the Russian Navy Day celebration, the arrival of several major surface combatants led by the Admiral Gorshkov (454), namesake of the guided missile class.

It was followed by Parchim-class corvette Zelenodolsk (308) and Parchim-class corvette Urengoy (304). Next came Karakurt-class missile corvette Odintsovo (584), followed by the Buyan-m corvette Grad (575). Then came the Steregushchiy-class corvette Stoikiy (545), followed by another Steregushchiy-class corvette Soobrazitelnyy (531).

Most interestingly was then the arrival of two of the largest major surface combatants of the entire parade: an Ivan Gren class amphibious landing ship (010) and the Udaloy-class destroyer Severomorsk. However, the Ivan Gren class ship was sporting an unknown tactical hull number. The two ships of the class Ivan Gren and Pyotr Morgunov sport hull numbers 135 and 017 respectively. 010 may indicate that this is the Vladimir Andreyev which was only received by the Russian military this year, but more confirmation is needed. It is also possible that the Russian Federation is employing deceptive techniques to disguise which ships are actually participating in the festivities. Indeed, there were two major surface combatants that did not have hull numbers, a technique employed in the Black Sea to disguise the true identities of Russian ships as they carry out operations against Ukraine.

These two ships were followed by a Smolnyy-class training ship. However, she was sporting a hull number of 300 which does not correspond to either of the hull numbers for the two active ships of this class, the Smolnyy (210) or the Perekop (310).

Pulling up the rear of the formation was a single Svetlyak-class patrol boat of the Russian Coast Guard and Project 636.3 (Improved Kilo-class) submarine Ufa.

Overall, more than forty vessels participated.

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Ethan Alun
Ethan Alun
A United States Naval Academy and American Military University Alumni, Ethan covers flash military, intelligence, and geo-political updates.
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