''What’s the difference of Kazan submarine from a previous one? It is how Lada Kalina differs from Mercedes''

Commander of a nuclear submarine that was recently put afloat thinks Russia has switched from Soviet groundwork to new technologies

''What’s the difference of Kazan submarine from a previous one? It is how Lada Kalina differs from Mercedes'' Photo: Oleg Tikhonov

Traditional campaign Avenue of Memory took place in Victory Park in Kazan on 8 May when trees are planted to the memory of participants of war. This year, 1 st Rank Captain Aleksandr Beketov who chairs Kazan nuclear submarine, which was recently put afloat, and Igor Kravtsov whose underwater ship became one of the exhibits of Victory Park visited the event this year.

''At this moment, I can't announce when the submarine joins the Russian Navy''

The weather prepared its own obstacles to the event. But rain and cold piercing wind did not frighten people who gathered for a good purpose. One of the organisers of Avenue of Memory campaign – head of Kurs Volunteer Society for Cooperation with the Army, Aviation, and Fleet Regional Youth Public Organisation Timur Kamaletdinov – told a correspondent of Realnoe Vremya about tasks of the event:

''Patriotic education of the young by example of heroic feats of our ancestors is the goal of this campaign. The campaign was created in 2012. The number of people always varies – everything depends on weather and calendar. Every year every activist plants an apple tree in honour of his great-grandfathers, participants in the Great Patriotic War or fathers – participants in local conflicts. It turns out that every apple tree is a live monument to specifically somebody.''

''Kazan is the latest submarine of the Russian Federation,'' Aleksandr Beketov says

Different activists – students and schoolchildren – participate in the event. Two captains of nuclear submarines bearing the name of the capital of Tatarstan joined the campaign this year. It is Aleksandr Beketov who became the commander of Kazan К-561 submarine. It was put afloat on 31 March at Sevmash factory.

''At this moment, I can't announce when the submarine joins the Russian Navy – it is classified information,'' Aleksandr Beketov claimed Realnoe Vremya. ''But I can say several tests will start in recent time. Kazan is the latest submarine of the Russian Federation equipped with modern weaponry, samples of vehicles that were laid to the foundation against navy forces of NATO members.''

It should be noted that American expert Michael Kofman from CNA Corporation called Russian Kazan submarine of Yasen-M 885M Project ''the most capable nuclear powered submarine out there fielded by a potential adversary''.

''Our ship is a new generation product. We stopped living on the groundwork of the Soviet Union''

Igor Kravtsov – commander of Kazan K403 submarine, which was written off the inventory in 2004, — was also among the guests. The submarine became noticeable part of the military vehicles exhibition in Victory Park in the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan. 1 st Rank Captain Kravtsov told the correspondent of Realnoe Vremya about the difference of Kazan K-403 (founded in 1969) from its predecessor:

''How Lada Kalina differs from Mercedes. The design, dimensions are completely different.''

Kazan K-403 nuclear submarine founded in 1969 differs from the previous vehicle like Lada Kalina from Mercedes, Igor Kravtsov explained

After welcome words of organisers and honourable guests, they started to plant apple saplings. The two ''Kazan'' captains helped each other to plant the trees. Letterings with their names immediately appeared near them. Timur Kamaletdinov explained they chose apple trees because they blossom in May, though they don't start blossoming by 9 May in our climate.

''We hope we will have a big beautiful apple garden as time goes by when these trees grow. It will blossom in May symbolising the memory of generations,'' the organiser says.

''The more such campaigns there are, the better it is. When boys see acting militaries, they know our armed forces develop, they understand the people who create history must be an example,'' Aleksandr Beketov says. ''The structure of the Russian naval fleet has completely changed.

The attitude of the country to construction, equipment, modernisation and repair of submarines has changed. At this moment, new samples of military vehicles appear every year. Our ship is a new generation product. We stopped living on the groundwork of the Soviet Union. We work on the basis of the technologies created and made in modern Russia. It helps to create a powerful ocean fleet of the Russian Federation.''

The campaign organisers hope there will be a big beautiful apple garden in Victory Park by when these trees grow

Captain Igor Kravtsov expressed his opinion on how to change the situation and make militaries an example for the young generation:

''How to change the situation? Easily. To approach the mirror every day and look what you are turning into – a monkey or a person. It especially refers to the young. Everything depends on every person, and, of course, a set of educational measures that the government must take to educate its young.''

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By Aleksandr Shakirov. Photo: Oleg Tikhonov