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Russian warship’s maiden visit to Israel
May 1, 2013, 2:16 pm


Workers download goods at the Port of Haifa, north Israel [Xinhua]

A Russian warship has docked in Haifa port for the first time since the establishment of the Israeli state.

A naval ship “Azov” of Russia’s Black Sea fleet visits Israel to celebrate the 68th anniversary of the World War II victory.

The Black Sea Fleet orchestra will perform a concert for Israeli war veterans and Haifa residents.

The visit is the initiative of veteran organisations in Israel.

According to the captain of the ship Alexei Komarov, the crew got the order to visit Haifa while in the sea, so that the crew had to prepare the programme under a tight deadline.

“We happened to have the orchestra on board and a company of honour guard from another official visit,” Komarov said.

“We are happy to perform in Haifa everything we have prepared for the residents and the veterans. For us May 9 is a solemn day, that’s why we’ll show all we can,” he added.

Israel also celebrates May 9 as Victory Day.

The day was recognised as an official holiday in 1999 and celebrations take place in several cities of the country, especially in those with large Russian communities.

Daria Chernyshova