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article imageRussia uses holiday to remind world of 'nuclear potential'

By Greta McClain     Jul 27, 2014 in World
Severodvinsk - Amid increased criticism, escalating sanctions and pending lawsuits, Russian President Vladimir Putin used a national holiday to launch two new nuclear submarines and reminded the world that Russia is more than capable of using nuclear weapons.
Established in 1939, Navy Day is celebrated in Russia on the last Sunday in July, and has become one of Russia's most popular military holidays. Today, the Russian Navy and President Putin marked the occasion by launching two new submarines into service, the multipurpose nuclear submarine Severodvinsk and a Borei-class strategic nuclear submarine Alexander Nevsky. Plans for the launch of nuclear submarines Krasnoyarsk and Knyaz Oleg, the production of 30 mine sweepers frigates, and plans to produce Yasen 885 multipurpose ships were also announced. The multipurpose ships reportedly will be capable of destroying targets both at sea and on the ground at the distance of up to 1,500 kilometers (932 miles).
According to the Russian news agency RIA Novosti, the Russian Black Sea Fleet position has "changed dramatically" due to "Crimea [reuniting] with Russia." The news agency went on to say that "between the end of 2014 and 2017, the Black Sea Fleet is expected to get six new frigates and six diesel-powered submarines", and that "Russia may also open additional fleet bases in Crimea."
The announcements come on the heals of increased scrutiny throughout Europe and much of the world following the downing of Malaysian Air Flight MH17. Calls for increased economic sanctions, a loss of an estimated $28 billion by the Moscow Stock Exchange, and the announcement that a London law firm plans to file suit against Putin has left the Russian President searching for ways bolster confidence in his leadership. During his remarks to the crowd attending the Navy Day celebration, Putin said:
"The Navy, for our country, is her pride, strength and dignity, The power and strength of the Russian Navy will only grow."
Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin used the celebration to send a direct message to those who wish interfere with the Russian invasion of Ukraine and "encroach" on "Russian sovereignty", saying:
"Today, when the U.S. and NATO countries are trying to impose their political agenda, when they are trying to push other countries to their knees … the factors of power become crucial. At this moment, Russia is a nation that represents the axis of good, but good can only be defended by force."
He later went on to say:
"We see the presence of a nuclear potential can cool the fervor of any aggressor located at any point in the world."
More about Russia, Navy Day, Ships, Submarines, Nuclear power
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