New York Times - Ships and Shipping

Thursday, 13 September 2012

St. Petersburg Assembly Asks Putin to Return Cruiser Avrora to Navy

St. Petersburg Assembly Asks Putin to Return Cruiser Avrora to Navy
Text: Rosbalt
Members of St. Petersburg Assembly asked Vladimir Putin to settle the conflict associated with defense ministry's decision to decommission cruiser Avrorafrom Russian Navy and assign the ship to the Central Naval Museum. 

All military crewmembers were supposed to dismiss from the cruiser on Aug 1 leaving her to museum staff. Nevertheless, members of the city assembly ask the president to keep cruiser Avrora within Russian Navy. According to the politicians, the only way to settle the problem is to countermand the order of defense minister Anatoly Serdiukov turning the glorious ship into a showpiece. 

"The cruiser should remain in the Navy as an auxiliary ship symbolizing battle glory of Russian and Soviet naval mariners", write the politicians in their appeal. 

Recall that the St. Petersburg Submariners' Club and veterans of the Navy asked Russian president Vladimir Putin to reconstruct and mount engines in the ship. Putin re-addressed the letter to defense minister Anatoly Serdiukov. 

According to experts, the legendary cruiser could be used not only as a museum but as a training ship, too. Although the ship is used only by tourists now and her condition is very bad, Avrora is still afloat. Veterans say it is very easy to save the cruiser simply by making her a presidential ship. 

As for veterans, the Naval Museum has neither money nor possibility to maintain the ship in acceptable condition, because only military servicemen are capable to provide full-fledged maintenance. 

Recall that Russian Navy Commander-in-Chief Admiral Viktor Chirkov said that cruiserAvrora would remain within the Naval Museum. There is a crew on board Avrora which services the cruiser and keeps things in order, Chirkov said.

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