President Vladimir Putin said the Russian Navy is ready to fight back against “any aggressor,” as he led a naval parade in St. Petersburg.
Putin went aboard one of the vessels taking part in the July 28 event marking Russia's Navy Day.
He said the annual holiday honors "all those who at different times in history served Russia faithfully and loyally, and who continue doing this on its borders and far away from the homeland."
The naval parade on the Neva River included 43 warships and submarines, 41 aircraft, and some 4,000 troops.
Parades were also held elsewhere in Russia, at the Syrian port of Tartus, and in Sevastopol in Ukraine’s Crimea region, which Russia seized in 2014, TASS news agency reported.
Putin is spending the weekend away from Moscow, where more than 1,300 people were detained on July 27 in a police crackdown on protesters.
Putin Attends Annual Naval Parade In St. Petersburg