13 JANUARY 1894, Page 1


THE Russian Government appears to be anxiously pressing forward the improvement of its Fleet. The Marine Budget ,allowed for the year is E5,500,000 sterling, which is nearly 'double the usual one, and Z1,809,000 of this are to be devoted :to new ships,—one of which, the Sissoi,' is of 8,000 tons, and three others, the Pultawa," Sebastopol,' and Petropaulowski,' exceed 10,000 tons. Two of these are to be laid down in the Black Sea, where there will soon be eight large ironclads, :and half-a-dozen large gunboats,—a fleet quite sufficient to force the passage of the Bosphorus and attack Constantinople "by sea. The Turkish Fleet is not ready, to go to sea, and probably never will be, and if attacked by a Russian Fleet, there might be trouble with its non-Ottoman sailors, most of whom would be friendly to Russia. The Russian Fleet is not -16,1y yet, nor are the transports which must accompany it, but the orders furnish one more reason for increasing the ' 'strength of the British Navy. It is said that the Russian ironclad, citurik,' is too strong for any ship in the British Navy, an assertion which is, of course, only a result of cal- culation. Victory at sea is not always to the great galleons.