Russia: Press Conference on Submariners’ Day Held in St. Petersburg
Chairman of the St. Petersburg Submariners and Navy Veterans Club Capt 1 rank (retired) I.K. Kurdin; Admiral, Doctor of Engineering, professor, Government Prize awardee A.A. Komaritsyn; and former submariner and novelist A.M. Pokrovsky on March 19 met with journalists at the press conference “Submarine Fleet: Present and Future”.
Igor Kurdin opened the press conference: “The Submariners’ Day has naturalized in our country. All key components of submarine fleet are concentrated in St. Petersburg – personnel studying in naval institutions and then serving in submarines, designers [almost all bureaus], and shipyards. Russian submarines have been and will be built in St. Petersburg”.
According to Kurdin, the holiday is associated with inclusion of submarines into classification of Russian warships upon report of Naval Minister VADM Birilev to Russian Emperor Nicholas II in 1906.
Then Admiral A. Komaritsyn said: “First success of our submariners was in the Pacific during the Russo-Japanese War. Even then underwater threats forced our opponents to waive the attack upon Vladivostok. Effectiveness of submarines as means of warfare was fully proved“.
“To my mind, submarines are like spaceships moving under water. Any country operating submarine fleet is held in respect, so when our submarine fleet decays, we’re written off”, said novelist A. Pokrovsky. “The main thing is people. They need a kind of a delicate approach. Submariner is a piece specimen! If we fail to educate genuine submariners, Russia’s underwater power may fall into oblivion”, he added.
Interviewees answered numerous questions; Moscow reporters asked them via live link-up.
Admiral Komaritsyn was asked more than others. He told about his naval service, answered questions about prospects for Russian submarine fleet. As for him, “Russia dropped preparing of professional submariners. But a submariner must be raised from the cradle, and big salary is beside the point”. Speaking about prospects for submarine building, the admiral said: “It is difficult but possible to build and deliver new nuclear subs“.
“Government has appropriated giantlike funds for development of submarine force. I’m always asked – doesn’t it look like preparation for a new war? And I say no! Neither the US nor the UK nor France have dropped submarine patrols since the end of the Cold War. Their missiles are aimed not at fabulous terrorists but at same targets like 20 or 30 years ago. We resumed nuclear deterrence patrols only recently. Si vis pacem, para bellum! That’s true proverb”, pointed out Igor Kurdin.
“Army and Navy are like iodine in first aid box. It must not dry out. Unfortunately, our submarine fleet has almost dried out“, noted Alexander Pokrovsky. “Sure, there are some positive news, and I sincerely glad to watch even the slightest revival of our Navy”, he added.
Naval Today Staff , March 21, 2012; Image: submarinersclub