SEVASTOPOL (QHA) -

Large ceremony marking Russia’s Navy Day took place at Russia's Black Sea naval base in Sevastopol July 27.

“We are full of joyful emotions. Thanks to our navy soldiers Crimea and Sevastopol has always been, they are and will always be Russian land. In this regard merit of the navy either in piece or war times is invaluable”- Crimean Premier Sergey Aksyonov said during his speech.

Navy Day is a national holiday in Russia typically held on the last Sunday of July. The holiday originated with the Soviet Union, which first celebrated Navy Day in June 1939. Ukraine has also celebrated Navy Day on the last Sunday in July since 2012, when it held a joint celebration with Russia.

Eighteen ships and boats, 28 aircrafts and helicopters, 10 support vessels, and 19 units of coastal forces took part in the display.

The Navy Days in both Ukraine and Russia are linked to the Battle of Gangut, which occurred on Aug. 7, 1714. The battle was the first major victory of the Imperial Russian Navy against the Swedish Navy.

This year, Ukraine had to shift its celebration to the city of Odessa, amid Crimean annexation by Russia.

QHA