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684 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     676 days have passed since the death of Nikolay Glushkov on British soil - no credible information or response from the British authorities

SPEECHES, INTERVIEWS, ARTICLES

22.08.2016

WWII Arctic Convoys: 75 years of a the link that still bonds us together (By Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

In a few days’ time the city of Arkhangelsk will greet HRH Princess Anne, diplomats from Britain, US, France, Canada, Iceland, Australia, New Zealand and Poland, a Royal Marines Band, but first and foremost – veterans of the Arctic Convoys, the first of which – “Dervish” – arrived in this Northern Russian port 75 years ago with supplies for the war against Nazi Germany.
The Operation Dervish set to sea from Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands and was successful: a convoy of 7 cargo vessels and 16 escort warships reached their destination safely. Four long, difficult years were lying ahead. They were filled with blood and sweat. Thousands of Soviet, British, American and other allied sailors were destined to challenge the northern seas and fight the enemy valiantly, making “the worst journey in the world”, as Sir Winston Churchill put it. 3000 perished. Besides the military significance of the 4 million tons of weaponry, materiel and food delivered by the convoys they sent a strong message of solidarity and support to the fighting Soviet army. It helped a lot to defeat the common enemy.
Russia remembers the glories deeds of the allied navies and remembers the heroes who gave their lives for our common Victory. President Putin spoke with Prime Minister May about the commemorations, and so did Foreign Minister Lavrov and Foreign Secretary Johnson. The bonds of comradeship-arms at that war are part of our common history, their legacy lives on, helping overcome today’s political disagreements between London and Moscow.
The Russian President, who today warmly recalled his meetings with the British veterans, issued a decree in 2014 awarding all the living participants of the Convoys with Ushakov medal – a Naval honour, named after Russia’s best known admiral who never knew defeat. As we are presenting these medals in person to each and every veteran across the United Kingdom (close to 3 thousand medals already presented), I am always impressed by the strength of spirit they retain, the respect they have for their Russian comrades and how humbly they speak of their own truly heroic deeds. These men are a source pride for both Britain and Russia, and we will be happy to welcome them once again in Arkhangelsk.




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