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UPDATED: 12:20, August 18, 2005
Backgrounder: Russian navy
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The Russian navy, an important part of Russia's armed forces, has a history of more than 300 years.

In order to occupy a sea gate to enter the Azov Sea and the Black Sea, Russia began to establish its first fleet, the Azov Sea Fleet, in October 1696, inaugurating the history of the Russian navy.

Later, Russia established the Baltic Fleet to fight for the sea gate to the Baltic Sea. Since then, Russia's navy strength has greatly improved, and Russia has become a powerful country in terms of navy force.

In 1918, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, the first head of state of the Soviet Union, issued an order to set up the navy of the Workers' and Peasants' Red Army. During the following two decades, the Soviet Union established the Pacific Fleet and North Sea Fleet.

At present, Russia's navy is composed of the Pacific Fleet, Northern Fleet, Baltic Fleet, Black Sea Fleet and Caspian Flotilla, becoming the world's second most powerful navy force after the US Navy.

Source: Xinhua

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