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Project 1164 Atlant - Varyag (ex-Chervona Ukraina)

In 1979, the cruiser "Chervona Ukraina" (Red Ukraine in Ukrainian) was laid down on 28 [31?] July at the plant. 61 Kommunara in Nikolaev (p. No. 2010), on November 5, 1982, was added to the lists of the Navy ships, on July 26, 1983 it was launched. The crew was formed on December 1, 1986. From August 15 to December 1, 1989 the factory sea trials, on December 25, 1989 the acceptance certificate was signed. Chief builder V.P. Furtat. The flag was raised on January 7, 1990. On August 10, 1990, the cruiser was included in the permanent alert forces. Since September 27, 1990, the transition to the Pacific Fleet (together with the destroyer "Fast"), with the call to Kamran (Vietnam). Kr. cap. 2 ranks V.K. Makarenko. November 5, 1990 the cruiser arrived in Petropavlovsk Kamchatsky. (11300 miles traveled in 42 days) and became part of the 173rd Brk of the Kamchatka Flotilla.

September 25, 1991 the shooting of "Volcano". December 12, 1991 second place among the Pacific Fleet according to the results of combat training and the first in missile training. In 1991, 5446 miles were covered. On November 17, 1992, it was announced the best Pacific Fleet ship for missile training (a difficult exercise was performed with shooting at 3 air targets). In 1992, 2760 miles were traveled (cap. Cap. 1 rank N.Yu. Voitov). In 1993, the cap. 2 ranks OA. Malake HIV. August 24, 1995 transfer to Vladivostok to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Pacific Fleet. On December 21, 1995 it was renamed "Varyag" (Order of the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy No. 063). Kr. cap. 2 ranks A.I. Lipinsky. On February 9, 1996, the Guard flag was hoisted. In August 1996, performance of test firing. On October 11, 1996, the Minister of Defense sailed out on a cruiser with the ship performing combat exercises. February 3-18, 1997 visit to Chemulpo (Incheon, Korea). In February 1997, the fleet exercises together with 3 BOD, destroyers and diesel-electric submarines. September 4, 1997, firing the main missile system for the prize of the Commander-in-Chief, the best in 1997 for missile training at the Navy. On December 30, 1997, ignition in the aft compartment (Kingston rubber gaskets ignited from welding). The chief of the ship of Tula. Board numbers: 119 (1990), 031 (from September 1990), 011 (1994)

Subsequently, the ship was part of the main striking force of the Red Banner Black Sea Fleet, after the partition of which, in 1996, Russia gave the cruiser no less illustrious name "Varyag" and transferred it to the Pacific Fleet.

The name "Varyag" had only brought bad luck to the Russian/Soviet Navy. Like naming a ship "Titanic". The original "Varyag" was Cruiser built in the US for the Tsarist Navy, it was attacked by Japanese ships in the Korean port of Inchon during the Russo-Japanese War and was unable to break out or fight back against the Japanese, so it was scuttled(sunk) by its own crew and abandoned. The Japanese were able to raise it and repair it and used it until 1944 when it was sunk again by US torpedo aircraft. Another "Varyag" was being built in Ukraine as the 2nd Full Size Aircraft Carrier of the Soviet Navy, but the USSR fell apart, it was not finished, Yeltsin's Russia did not want it so it was sold to China, now China is using it.

After the independence of Ukraine the "Chervona Ukrayina" was re-named to "Varyag", when this name formerly given to the Pr 1143.6 heavy aviation cruiser (sister ship to the "Kuznetsov") was released after the cancellation of further aviation cruiser development. The Cruiser was part of the Soviet Black Sea Fleet until it was transfered to Vladivostok.

Varyag has been the flagship of the Russian Pacific Fleet since 2002. As of 2002 it was reported that the Varyag was in "Reduced Manning" status, and entered the Dalzavod Shipyard the same year for repairs. Varyag had been in reduced operating status with a caretaker crew since her arrival in the Pacific in 1990. The cruiser re-entered service with the Pacific Fleet in early 2008 after an overhaul.

In April 2009, the Varyag led a group of 21 foreign naval vessels participating in a parade to mark the 60th anniversary of China's Navy off the coast of the eastern city of Qingdao. The missile cruiser Varyag led a naval group of the Russian Pacific Fleet to San Francisco. The group, which also includes the Fotiy Krylov salvage tug and the Boris Butoma tanker left the Far Eastern port of Vladivostok for a month-long voyage on 04 June 2010. The Russian Pacific Fleet's Varyag arrived from Vladivostok in Russia's Far East to California on May 21 on a friendly visit, which is dedicated to the first official visit of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to the United States between June 22 and 24.

Varyag's visit to South Korea was held in 9-13 November 2010. Along with Russian president Dmitry Medvedev, the crew of Varyag participated in solemn ceremony on Nov 11 when the flag of legendary Russian cruiser Varyag which heroically entered the loosing battle against Japanese fleet in 1904 near Chemulpo (now Incheon) was triumphantly returned to Russia. The crew of present-day Varyag delivered the legendary predecessor's flag to Russia.

The flagship of Russia's Pacific Fleet, Varyag, and the country's most powerful nuclear-powered battleship, Pyotr Veliky, entered the Mediterranean Sea on 03 November 2013. The crew of 'aircraft carrier killer' Varyag will carry out a number of tasks, some of which will be performed together with the joint group of Russian Navy ships and vessels stationed in the region.

The Russian Slava-class guided missile cruiser Varyag was deployed in January 2016 on alert near the Syrian coast, providing air defense for the Hmeymim base used in Moscow's counterterrorism operation in the war-torn Middle Eastern state. The Pacific Fleet's flagship substituted its Black Sea counterpart Moskva in early January. Russia had been conducting a military operation against terrorists in Syria since 30 September 2015 at the request of President Bashar Assad.

A ship repair center in the Russian Far East completed on 27 April 2016 the repairs of guided missile cruiser Varyag, the flagship of the Pacific Fleet of the Russian Navy. The work was performed by one of the Far Eastern Shipbuilding and Ship Repair Center’s subsidiary, the Dalzavod Ship Repair Center. According to Dalzavod’s deputy director Gennady Slugin, the cruiser underwent dry-dock repairs, armament equipment repairs, and servicing in the allotted time; everything was performed on schedule and to a high standard.

From 6 to 12 December 2015, the missile cruiser led its group to India’s port Visakhapatnam where it took part in the Russian-Indian annual joint drill Indra Navy-15. Russia’s Varyag guided-missile cruiser passed the Suez Canal and entered the Mediterranean Sea 03 January 2016 as part of its mission, the press service of the Russian Eastern Military District said.

The flagship of the Russian Pacific Fleet, Guards’ missile cruiser Varyag, will undergo a modernization until 2020, a source in the Russian defense industry said 05 February 2016. the modernization implies equipping of the cruiser with new radioelectronic weapons, and upgrading of the propulsion system.

The name "Varyag" celebrates the Vikings who raided most European countries and settled in Normandy and in Sicily and southern Italy. They engaged in trade with the Arabs along the river routes to the Caucasus, to the Black and Caspian Seas, and penetrated Persia, India and probably China. They also migrated to the East and established the Russian state. Under the name Varangians, they became part of the Byzantine army and were active in all the military activities of the Byzantine Empire.

The Varangians invaded the eastern portion of the Slavic area (Russia) in AD 862 and settled down in Kiev. They played an important role in the life of the eastern Slays. The Varangian troops carried on a borderland service; they aided the Old Russian princes in maintaining internal ordei and frequently succeeded in seizing power in various places. The influence of this invasion is seen in the Russian chronicles where over 90 personal names of Scandinavian origin are listed: Rurik, Osgold, Olga, Olga, Igor.

During the 1905 Russo-Japanese War, The Varyag, before her disaster at Chemulpo, was one of the finest of Russia's protected cruisers in the Orient. The Varyag was a fast, partially protected cruiser, her only protected part being her conning tower. The Varyag had a crew of 535 men, and the guns she was able to bring to bear, on one side only, were six quick-firers of 150 millimetres (which fired in all 425 shots), six of seventy-five millimetres (which fired 425 shots), and six of 47 millimetres (which fired 210 shots).

On 06 February 1905 the situation was especially interesting at Chemulpo. In the harbor were lying the fast Russian cruiser the Varyag and the gunboat Corieetz, together with the transport vessel the Sungari; and near by them was the small Japanese cruiser the Chiyoda. Admiral Uriu called on the Russian ships in the name of Japan to leave the harbor or he would attack them. The captain of the Varyag, as the senior Russian officer, refused, and after he had informed the commanders of the British, French, Italian, and American men-of-war lying in the harbour, the famous three captains' protest against any violation of the neutrality of Chemulpo waters was made. It is significant that the American cruisercaptain, probably in view of the special instructions which had come from Washington before the outbreak of war, refused to have anything to do with this protest. The question of the propriety of the protest from the international-law point of view has already been exhaustively discussed by competent authorities, and it has been almost universally held that the commanders of the Talbot, the Pascal, and the Elba acted ultra vires.

At seven o'clock on the morning of the ninth the final dénoûement came. Admiral Uriu presented his ultimatum, in which he stated that the Russian ships must leave Chemulpo before noon or else they would be attacked in the harbor. The Japanese squadron, taking up a position ten miles beyond the anchorage, awaited the Russian action. The captain of the Varyag, a brave but foolish fellow, went on board the Talbot, the Pascal, and the Elba, and bade an affecting good-bye to his fellow-commanders, and then, boarding his own ship, steamed out of the harbour, gallantly enough followed by the little Corieetz.

The result was inevitable. The fight took place near Round Island, the Varyag opening fire first. On the Japanese side there were the cruisers Naniwa, 3,700 tons, Niitaka, 3,400 tons, Chiyoda, 3,700 tons, Takachiko, 3,700 tons, Akashi, 2,800 tons, Asama, 9,800 tons, and eight torpedo boats, a force so superior to the Russians that it would have been far better had they not given battle.

After half-an-hour's sharp conflict, in which the Corieetz took but little part, the two Russian ships put back to Chemulpo, the Varyag having a heavy list to port, whilst the Corieetz was practically undamaged. At the end of an hour of incessant fighting the Varyag was lying over on one side very badly damaged, and with her stern on fire. Worse still, her steering gear was injured, and she would no longer answer her helm, her steering connections being cut through. Her captain therefore deemed it best to try and regain the harbour, in order to repair her helm to enable him to renew the fight under somewhat more favourable conditions.

The number of Russians killed in the fight was forty-one, and the wounded sixty-eight, of whom a number died subsequently. The Japanese, possibly fearing some trap, did not pursue. At four o'clock the Corieetz was blown up, and later the Varyag was set on fire and her Kingston valves opened, sinking at about six o'clock.

Much discussion was immediately aroused in Chemulpo and Seoul whether the Russian captain had acted merely vaingloriously and rather foolishly or really heriocally. It is hard to say, without a knowledge of special circumstances which it will be impossible to obtain until after the war. There seems to be no doubt, however, about one thing, that he should have either not have left the harbour, or, supposing that he considered such a necessary, that he should have taken the crew of the Corieetz on his own vessel and attempted to run the gauntlet deliberately. His superior speed, the Varyag being one of the fastest vessels in the world and able to make twenty-three knots, should have given him a fair chance of escaping even through the powerful cordon Admiral Uriu placed beyond Roze Island. In any case he should have attempted to ram and carry down the best Japanese ship with his own, a course of action which would have earned great admiration for Russia and have done much towards affording her the moral support which has been so consistently denied her.

On the Russian side, nothing can be said for the perverse policy which allowed a splendid cruiser like the Varyag to be so foolishly sacrificed. It is a strange commentary on Russian ways that the Varyag had no gun-shields, no wireless telegraphy, no telescopic sights, and was not even properly cleared for action when she steamed out on the ninth. Attempting to manæuvre at high speed, her steering gear immediately went wrong, whilst the ship's engineers subsequently stated that it would have been useless making a dash for it, as the engines could not develop much more than threequarters of the horse-power with which they were officially credited.

The Russians complain strongly that the Japanese attacked before war was declared, and also that the telegraph wires had been deliberately cut several days before, and all information purposely intercepted, so that the first intimation they had of war was the encounter of the Korietz with the Japanese fleet, followed by Admiral Uriu's letter. But modern wars seldom begin with a formal declaration, and it lay with the Russian Government to keep vigilant watch directly the situation became strained. The Japanese cannot be blamed for doing what is apparently recognised by international law as legitimate - striking hard and at once, directly war is seen to have become inevitable, without waiting for any formal declaration to be made. The fact is that the Russian Government does not seem to have understood that the Japanese were really in earnest; and so at Chemulpo, just as at Port Arthur, they neglected to take the precautions the circumstances would seem to have suggested.

What their fellow-countrymen think of their conduct is shown by the fact that upon their return to Russia the Czar conferred upon the whole of the crews both of the Varyag and of the Korietz, officers and men alike, the Order of St. George, the first time in Russian history that such a thing has ever been done-upon Captain Roudneff being conferred the additional honour of being made an Honorary Aide-de-camp to the Czar. Never were distinctions more gloriously earned ; never was battle worthier to take honourable rank in the annals of naval war.

The Russian cruiser Varyag (6,000 tons) was successfully re-floated. When she rose once more to the surface she had a list to port, but she was soon on an even keel and was towed to Sasebo. Once she was restored to her old condition she was a valuable addition to the Japanese Navy, under the name “ Sayo”.

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Page last modified: 14-04-2022 14:50:48 ZULU