Pacific Fleet Commemorative Journey Completed off Southern Kuril Islands
A service was held on board the landing ship BDK-98 to pay tribute to those who fought in WWII.
VLADIVOSTOK. August 23. VOSTOK-MEDIA – On Sunday, the Russia’s Pacific Fleet ships that are taking part in a commemorative voyage approached Iturup Island, in the Kuril Archipelago.
Since the there are no piers capable of handling large vessels on the island, the Pacific Fleet ships, landing ship BDK-98 and salvage boat Foty Krylov, anchored off Iturup and picked up WWII veterans, schoolchildren, local officials, and then they held a service on board the ship to pay tribute to those who fought in WWII. During the service wreaths and flowers were cast into the sea.
Historical records show that Iturup accommodated naval bases of the Imperial Japanese Army up until the end of 1945. Soviet armed forces were trying to conquer Iturup, Kunashir and Shikotan amid incessant storms and heavy fogs. Despite the troops having a hard time maneuvering in the coastal waters, they finally got through the difficulties.
Unlike the other islands, there were no combats on Iturup as the Japanese troops surrendered to the Soviet landing forces without any resistance.
After the ceremony, the officials arranged a trip around the ship for the schoolchildren, who later performed for the WWII veterans.
Later that day, the large landing ship set a course for Kunashir Island, a Pacific Fleet spokesman told Vostok-Media.