The memory of sailors who died in the Arctic during the Great Patriotic War was honored on the Viktor Chernomyrdin icebreaker
On May 9, on the Day of the Great Victory, during ice tests in the Kara Sea on the icebreaker Viktor Chernomyrdin, with the participation of representatives of FSUE “Rosmorport”, a patriotic event dedicated to the 80th anniversary of the heroically lost icebreaker Alexander Sibiryakov took place. The Soviet vessel fought in an unequal battle with the German heavy cruiser Admiral Scheer in 1942.
As part of the event, a minute of silence and a commemorative ceremony of lowering wreaths onto the ice took place on the icebreaker Viktor Chernomyrdin, which was released into the Arctic for the first time. The event was held in the eastern part of the Kara Sea near the island of Belukha, near the place of the death of Alexander Sibiryakov.
The crew of the icebreaker and members of the expedition paid tribute to the sailors of the Soviet icebreaker Alexander Sibiryakov who died heroically, but did not lower the flag on the vessel.
The solemn ceremony began with the formation of personnel and a speech by representatives of FSUE "Rosmorport" and the captain of the icebreaker Viktor Chernomyrdin about the events that took place in the area of the death of the Soviet vessel during the Great Patriotic War. Under the lowered flags of the Ministry of Transport of Russia, Rosmorrechflot, FSUE "Rosmorport" and the St. Andrew's flag, the crew of the icebreaker Viktor Chernomyrdin and members of the expedition honored the memory of the heroic sailors on board the Alexander Sibiryakov with a minute of silence. The state flag of the Russian Federation was lowered on the icebreaker.
Under the march "Farewell of Slavianka" on behalf of the Ministry of Transport of Russia, Rosmorrechflot and FSUE "Rosmorport", the crew members lowered wreaths on the ice as a sign of memory and eternal gratitude to those who gave their lives for the freedom and independence of our Motherland.
At the end of the ceremony, Yuri Levitan's message about the Victory in the Great Patriotic War was broadcast. As part of the all-Russian event "Victory Horn", initiated by the Museum of the World Ocean, a sound signal lasting 20 seconds was given on the icebreaker. Under the anthem of the Russian Federation, the state flag, previously lowered at half-mast in memory of the lost vessel, was raised on the Viktor Chernomyrdin.
During the patriotic event on the icebreaker, the memory of the sailors who died on the ships of the Soviet fleet in battles during the Great Patriotic War was also honored. In particular, they recalled the feat of the patrol ship Tuman, which in 1941 fought with three enemy destroyers and was lost near the island of Kildin in the Barents Sea, without lowering its battle flag.
On August 25, 1942, the icebreaking steamer Alexander Sibiryakov was attacked by the German cruiser Admiral Scheer in the waters of the Kara Sea. The Soviet steamer returned fire. In an unequal battle, the Alexander Sibiryakov lost its course: a huge fire broke out on the deck, and holes appeared in the hull of the vessel. The steamer went down, but did not surrender to the enemy.
At the cost of their lives, the sailors did not allow Admiral Scheer to destroy a caravan of transport vessels going east, as well as to pass unnoticed to Dixon Island, where the Soviet polar aviation air base and the Headquarters of naval Operations of the western Arctic region were located. Of the 104 sailors on board the ship, only 23 survived.
Before the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, Alexander Sibiryakov worked in the Arctic. He became famous for the fact that in 1932, for the first time in history, he made a through voyage along the NSR in order to prove the possibility of its practical use.