Moskovsky Komsomolets, February 22, 2003, p. 3

Senior Deputy Mayor of Moscow Oleg Tolkachev gave a press conference on the assistance rendered by the government of Moscow to the Navy. Everything began in 1994 when V.I. Bogdashin, Moskva cruiser commander, approached the government of Moscow. Mayor Yuri Luzhkov lent a sympathetic ear, making the first step towards establishment of special relations between Moscow and the Black Sea Fleet.

Local cooperation gradually expanded into cooperation with a squadron of the Black Sea Fleet and eventually with the fleet as such. Every ship of the squadron became a responsibility of a prefect’s office of Moscow. Ships were staffed with conscripts from Moscow. Over 2,300 apartments were built for servicemen of the Black Sea Fleet in the last nine years, to say nothing of several medical establishments and a hospital for veterans. A Black Sea branch of the Moscow State University was established, and secondary school and a kindergarten were built. All of that capped the program of construction of a complex for children of naval officers and residents of Sevastopol. As for plans for 2003, reconstruction of the Sailor Club and of the Black Sea Fleet Headquarters is planned. A block of 120 flats will be built. Another block of flats for Russian and Ukrainian officers will be built at a later date.

Tolkachev emphasized constant efforts of the government of Moscow to maintain combat readiness of the Black Sea Fleet. It is with its help that the Kerch ASW ship and Moskva cruiser made a sortie to the Mediterranean.

The government of Moscow helps the Northern Fleet as well. Two blocks of flats (78 apartments each) were built for Northern Fleet officers in 2001. Ten million rubles were allocated for families of four sailors of the Kursk nuclear submarine who opted to move to Moscow. Money was found as well for reconstruction of the Officer Club in Vidyaevo.

The capital facilitates contacts with the regions where Russian fleets and flotillas are based – with administrations of the Autonomous Republic of the Crimea, Murmansk, Arkhangelsk, and Kaliningrad regions.