Russia celebrated its Navy Day holiday on Sunday with naval parades in various cities.
President Vladimir Putin attended the main event in Saint Petersburg, the country’s second-largest city.
After inspecting the fleet, Putin made a short speech in which he announced the navy would receive what he called “formidable” hypersonic Zircon cruise missiles in the coming months. The missiles can travel at nine times the speed of sound, outrunning air defences.
Earlier, he signed a new 55-page naval doctrine, which sets out the broad strategic aims of Russia’s navy, including its ambitions as a “great maritime power” which extend over the entire world.
The main threat to Russia, the doctrine says, is “the strategic policy of the USA to dominate the world’s oceans” and the movement of the NATO military alliance closer towards Russia’s borders.
Russia may use its military force appropriately to the situation in the world’s oceans should other soft powers, such as diplomatic and economic tools, be exhausted, the doctrine says, acknowledging that Russia does not have enough navy bases globally.