The first in the new Boreas-class of Russian ballistic-missile submarines is to be named the Yuri Dolgoruki after the traditional founder of the city of Moscow, Prince Yuri Dolgoruki. Moscow mayor Yuri Luzkhov has agreed to sponsor the project and both the workers building the new vessel and the sailors who will serve aboard are counting on money from Moscow when official government sources dry up. (Izvestia, October 25)
Luzkhov and his city have been staunch supporters of the Navy. In January Luzhkov turned over to the Russian Black Sea Fleet a block of apartments, a kindergarten and a diagnostic center in Sevastopol — all funded by Moscow. The same day, there was a foundation-laying ceremony for a new 300-apartment block for the fleet’s servicemen, also to be paid for by Moscow. The aircraft-carrying cruiser Moskva once served in the Black Sea Fleet and after it was written off the name was transferred to a Slava-class cruiser currently under construction. Moscow is footing the bill for its completion. (Interfax, January 17 1996)
Luzkhov has not been hesitant about throwing himself into the debate over the division of the former Soviet Black Sea Fleet, and has been especially vocal in promoting the position that Sevastopol — which Russia wants to keep as the main base for its Black Sea Fleet — is and has always been a Russian city. (ORT, October 21) In view of this enthusiastic support, ships with names connected to Moscow are probably going to be the norm as the Navy slowly modernizes.
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