Putin’s big upheaval within the Russian navy – L’Express

Putin is convinced of the intrinsic fragility of the Russian

Changes are continuing in the general staff of the Russian navy. After having inducted a new leader for its entire fleet a few weeks ago, it is this time more particularly on the navy in the Black Sea that the Kremlin has decided to make a new commotion.

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced this Tuesday “the appointment” of “Vice Admiral Sergei Pinchuk to the post of Commander of the Black Sea Fleet”, his services indicated in a press release on Tuesday. He replaces Admiral Viktor Sokolov, who had not been seen in public since… last September. The reflection of a very complex situation for Putin’s army in this sea, where Ukraine has a string of successes despite Moscow’s numerical advantage.

A third of the Russian fleet in the Black Sea destroyed

According to his biography published on the ministry’s website, Sergei Pinchuk was born in 1971 in Sevastopol, Crimea, a Ukrainian peninsula annexed in 2014 by Moscow. In 2011, he was promoted to commander of the Novorossiysk naval base in the Black Sea, before being entrusted with the reins of the Caspian Sea fleet in 2016.

This change in leadership of the Russian fleet in the Black Sea comes after a series of successes for Ukraine in the area, carried out using maritime surface drones and missiles, which forced Russian ships to withdraw . These attacks notably allowed Ukraine to sink or damage numerous Russian ships and to reopen a maritime corridor to export its cereals.

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Among their feats of arms since the start of the conflict, Ukrainian forces bombarded the headquarters of the Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol in September 2023, more than a year after having succeeded in sinking the “Moskva”, the vessel admiral of the Russian fleet, in spring 2022.

More recently, kyiv’s forces have sunk several ships, whether patrol boats or landing ships, always using these surface drones loaded with explosives, which are very inexpensive and extremely effective. Thus, the Ukrainian army claimed at the beginning of February to have destroyed more than a third of the Russian fleet based in the Black Sea.

New Russian fleet commander confirmed

The Russian Defense Ministry also confirmed by presidential decree the appointment of Admiral Alexander Moiseyev as commander of the Russian fleet, replacing Nikolaï Evmenov, in post since May 2019. Moiseyev had already been seen as part of his news functions during a ceremony held in mid-March in the port of Kronstadt, in the northwest of the country.

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These upheavals can only fuel the impression of a certain impatience at the top of the Russian state, in the face of a war which has already lasted for more than 25 months and whose situation on the front still seems frozen.