GEORGE TOWN: A group of Russian navy personnel held a special tribute here to commemorate the centennial anniversary of the sinking of the cruiser Zhemchug off the coast of Penang during World War 1.
The group of about 40 Russians were joined by Royal Malaysian Navy personnel in paying tribute to the fallen members of the Russian ship at the Western Road Cemetery in Jalan Utama here, where a memorial stone was installed in 1976.
The Zhemchug was sunk by the German cruiser Emden in Penang waters during the attack on Oct 28, 1914, popularly known as the “Battle of Penang”, which also saw the French vessel Mousquet destroyed.
Lyudmila G. Vorobyeva, the ambassador of the Russian Federation to Malaysia, said the Russian Embassy officials held similar ceremonies at the venue every year.
“However, this time it is special because this is the first time in 30 years that navy personnel are also attending the ceremony.
“In our culture, it's important to pay tribute and commemorate those who are gone.
“The country that remembers its history and pays respect to its heroes can look into the future with dignity and respect,” she said after the ceremony yesterday.
She added that the Russian navy personnel came here just after they took part in the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (Lima) 2013, which ended yesterday.
They came to Penang aboard the Russian destroyer Marshal Shaposhnikov.
After laying wreaths at the memorial stone, a three-gun salute was fired as a mark of respect before the Russian Federation's national anthem was played.
Also present was Russian Federation's honorary consul here Teoh Seng Lee.