Arctic Convoys veterans from Great Britain and St Petersburg (Russia) arrived at Simferopol’s international airport where they were met by Mikhail Sheremet, First Deputy Chairman of the Crimean government.

Sheremet ‘thanked the veterans for their selfless service and bravery», says a statement issued by the press service of the Crimean government.

“One can never underestimate the contribution made by the veterans of the anti-Hitler coalition. Together with our seamen they risked their lives helping our country. To prevent reoccurrence of the dreadful events of WWII, the Crimean government enlists the veterans’ help in alerting the younger generation to the importance of being patriots of one’s own country. Therefore, these guests are always welcomed in Crimea,” said Sheremet.

The British veterans are due to stay in Crimea until October 12. While there, they are expected to visit a number of war-related sights, such as the Unknown Soldier Memorial in Simferopol (October 6), where a flower-laying ceremony will be held, the Livadia Palace in Yalta (a site of the Yalta conference where leaders of the USSR, USA and Great Britain met in 1945), a monument to the 1941-1942 defense of Sevastopol, the Black Sea Navy museum, the 35th Battery museum, and a diorama museum in Sevastopol.

The Arctic convoys of World War II were oceangoing convoys which sailed from the United Kingdom, Iceland, and North America to northern ports in the Soviet Union - primarily Arkhangelsk (Archangel) and Murmansk. About 1400 merchant ships delivered essential supplies to the Soviet Union under the Lend-Lease program.  There were 78 convoys between August 1941 and May 1945. The Arctic convoys caused major changes to naval dispositions on both sides, which had a major impact on the course of events in other theatres of war.