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Russia's Pacific Fleet
2005-08-22 00:44:27 Xinhua English

VLADIVOSTOK, Aug. 18 (Xinhuanet) -- Russia's Pacific Fleet has sent vessels to participate in the first Sino-Russian military exercise that began Thursday morning. The following is a brief introduction about the fleet, a major force of the Russian navy.

Russia's Pacific Fleet, the country's former Far East Fleet, is headquartered in Vladivostok.

Russia built its first flotilla in 1731 and turned it into the Siberian Fleet in 1856. In 1932, the Soviet Union re-established the Far East Fleet, and renamed it the Pacific Fleet three years later.

In World War II, the fleet played an important role in a seriesof major battles, with more than 100,000 officers and men joining field brigades to fight the enemy.

In 1945, before the Soviet Union declared war against Japan, the Pacific Fleet had 430 vessels and 1,500 planes. In the 1970s, it had 130,000 troops, about 700 vessels, including 92 battleships, two aircraft carriers and 110 submarines, and hundreds of battleplanes.

The Russian fleet now has about 60,000 troops, 18 nuclear submarines armed with guided missiles, 17 nuclear-powered attack submarines, 14 conventional submarines, four guided missile cruisers, 10 guided missile destroyers, 40 missile frigates, nearly 400 warships of other types, and 177 battleplanes.

So far, more than 30,000 officers and soldiers from the fleet have been awarded for their meritorious deeds, including 45 who have been granted the title of "Soviet Hero."

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