Krasnodar, 30 January – Yug Times. Prof. Vladimir Runov, Dean of the Faculty of Television and Radio Broadcasting, Krasnodar State Institute of Culture, and a master of Kuban journalism, unveils the hidden pages of the history of a Russian warship.Last week, Russian and international media were giving detailed reports of Russia’s Pytlivy frigate’s shadowing USS Donald Cook that had entered the Black Sea waters. However, few would remember that in the early 1990s Kuban people had given a new lease of life to the warship. Vladimir Runov recalls:
“In 1991, I worked as press secretary of then Krasnodar Mayor Valeri Samoilenko. One day, he summoned us to inform that he had attended a session of the City Duma, where a Black Sea Fleet officer came and asked to render them some material aid, because they were dangerously close to
“Mayor affirmed: ‘We are the nearest region to Crimea, and, as their neighbours, we must help the fleet.’
“Then I was sent to Sevastopol - together with Yuri Diachenko, now a deputy of the Krasnodar City Duma, and Aleksandr Dzheus, now a deputy of the regional Legislative Assembly and Director of Orlionok (Eaglet) Children’s Camp.
“We met the naval commanders who backed our initiative and suggested that [the Krasnodar region] take Pytlivy destroyer leader under patronage. “Upon coming back to Krasnodar, we told Valeri Samoilenko about the conditions Russian sailors lived and worked in. The following day, Mayor held a meeting with directors of [local] enterprises. Many of them at once took up the call to help the fleet. “Second time, we went to Sevastopol with two trucks, stuffed with food, clothing, articles of personal hygiene and even household appliances.
“Following Krasnodar’s example, nearly all Kuban cities and stanitsas (Cossack villages) took other warships under their patronage. We were helping the sailors until 1995, until the government resumed the systematic allocation of money for the navy.”
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