Russian Navy prepares for annual parade as warships bare their teeth
18th July 2021

Russian Navy prepares to make its annual show of strength as Putin’s state-of-the-art warships bare their teeth

  • Russia flexed its naval muscles Sunday in its second rehearsal of the huge Main Naval Parade in St. Petersburg
  • Submarines, missile ships, minesweepers and jets were all seen taking part in rehearsals in the Gulf of Finland
  • Putin will hold a separate ceremony on Senate Square, involving Russian military bands and honour guards

Russia flexed its naval muscles Sunday in its second rehearsal of the huge Main Naval Parade, set to take place in St Petersburg next week. 

The annual event is a national holiday celebrated on the last Sunday of July and sees the superpower show off its latest state-of-the-art warships, weaponry and aircraft. 

Typically, a two-hour procession sees the battleships sail along the Neva River in St.Petersburg and the Port of Kronstadt. 

Submarines, missile ships and minesweepers – along with fighter jets – were all seen taking part in rehearsals in the Gulf of Finland today. 

Navy Day, which will be held on July 25 this year, was previously cancelled by the Soviet Union in 1980 before being brought back by President Vladimir Putin in 2017.   

Warships and marine air force units will join the procession from the Baltic, Black Sea, Northern and Pacific Fleets as well as the Caspian Flotilla, while naval bases across the country will put on similar displays.

The Olenegorsky Gornyak landing ship takes part in a rehearsal for Russia’s Navy Day military parade in St.Petersburg

A small missile ship named Zelyony Dol is one of dozens which took part in the Navy Day rehearsal on Sunday 


The Zelyony Dol missile ship (left) and the Alexander Obukhov minesweeper sail down the Neva River in St. Petersburg in a practice run for next week’s big event 

A military band in green uniforms and filled with trumpets performs during a rehearsal for Russia’s Navy Day in the Gulf of Finland 

Six warships are pictured as they take part in the Russian Navy Day military parade rehearsal on Sunday, a week before the real event 

An armada of warships have been spotted in the Gulf of Finland as military leaders test their speed and agility ahead of next week’s parade

A band member blows his saxophone during rehearsal for Russia’s Navy Day while four fighter pilots fly overhead 

A band member reads his sheet music while blasting his trumpet in St Petersburg on Sunday, in a practice run for a huge military parade on July 25

The Marshal Ustinov cruiser was pictured rehearsing for Navy Day in the Gulf of Finland as dozens of sailors stood proud around its perimeter 

Drummers, trombone players and musicians formed part of the band rehearsal on Sunday as a Volkhov submarine cruised past in the Gulf of Finland

The band practiced the set it will be playing in front of Russian President Vladimir Putin at the military parade next Sunday 

Putin will also hold a separate ceremony on Senate Square, involving Russian military bands and honour guards. 

They will raise the Russian flag before Putin addresses the nation, followed by the firing of a 21-gun salute.   

The large-scale event has at least two practice days in the weeks prior.

Last Wednesday, Russian warships lined up in the Gulf of Finland for their first rehearsal.

Russia’s Defence Ministry said: ‘The first rehearsal of the parade formation of the ships that will participate in the Main Naval Parade in the Neva River took place in the Gulf of Finland. 

A submarine slowly emerges from the waters of the Gulf of Finland, while another four linger in the background 

A military band member blows on his trumpet during rehearsals for Russia’s Navy Day, set to take place on July 25

The Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky submarine emerges from the depths of the Gulf of Finland in a practice run for Navy Day in St Petersburg 

The Marshal Ustinov cruiser shows off its serious fire power as dozens of sailors stand to attention on its decks 

The anti-submarine corvette Urengoy passes through the Gulf of Finland as its sailors stand tall next to its lethal weaponry 

The Marshal Ustinov cruiser is followed by another boat and two smaller submarines during Sunday’s test run

Fighter pilots hover above a military band member during rehearsals for next Sunday’s military parade 

Navy men salute as the Krasnodar Varshavyanka diesel-electric submarine takes part in Navy Day rehearsals 

The small missile ship Geyzer, equipped with sophisticated missile launchers, was also pictured in the Gulf of Finland practice run Sunday 

This anti-submarine corvette Urengoy will be one of dozens of warships paraded through St. Petersburg next week, under the watchful eye of Putin 

As the band practice their notes for next week’s big day, the Pyotr Morgunov landing ship can be seen sailing by in the distance

Military band performs during a rehearsal as a convoy of warships cruise past them in Kronshtadt, St. Petersburg 

Marshal Ustinov cruiser is lined with sailors during a rehearsal for Navy Day in Kronshtadt, St. Petersburg on Sunday 

The Marshal Ustinov cruiser seen after the Russian Navy Day military parade rehearsals in Gulf of Finland 

‘Ships and boats of various classes assigned for the Neva component of the Main Naval Parade practiced moving at the designated speed as part of the parade formation’s tactical groups and organising communications while on the move.’

The rehearsal involved mine countermeasure ships Aleksandr Obukhov and Pavel Khrenov, the missile corvettes Odintsovo and Zelyony Dol, Raptor patrol boats, and a Grachyonok-class anti-saboteur craft. 

The Main Naval Parade on July 25 will mark the Fleet’s 325th anniversary. 

Similar parades will also take place in Severomorsk, Baltiysk, Sevastopol, Kaspiysk, Vladivostok, and Tartus (Syria).

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