Putin sends Navy chief to resign after losing 30% of Black Sea Fleet

Admiral Nikolai Evmenov, commander-in-chief of the Russian Navy, has been sent into retirement, Fontanka and Izvestia reported, citing sources familiar with the situation.

The 61-year-old Evmenov, who served as Navy chief from 2019 and previously commanded the Northern Fleet and submarine forces of the Pacific Fleet, will be replaced by Admiral Aleksandr Moiseyev – also a submariner, who in 2011 received the title of Hero of Russia for successful missile launches from a strategic submarine.

Moiseyev’s appointment as acting commander-in-chief has already been communicated to the personnel of the Commander-in-Chief’s office, Fontanka’s sources say. At the same time, according to them, in the near future he may get rid of the prefix VRIO.

The change of the Navy chief came after a series of major losses in the Black Sea Fleet, which has lost two more ships in the last month alone and has lost almost a third of its combat power since the beginning of the war.

On the night of March 4-5, special forces of the Main Directorate of Intelligence (GUR) of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry destroyed the newest patrol ship of the Black Sea Fleet “Sergei Kotov”, launched in January 2021 and incorporated in July 2022. On February 14, it became known about the sinking of the large landing ship “Tsezar Kunikov”, which was attacked by marine drones in the area of Alupka near the southern coast of occupied Crimea.

“Tsezsar Kunikov” became the fifth BDC lost by the fleet since the beginning of the war. There were a total of seven such ships in the Black Sea Fleet. Earlier, the “Novocherkassk”, “Saratov”, “Olenegorsk Miner” and “Minsk” were also sunk or damaged.

In total, Russia lost more than 20 vessels during the two years of war, including landing ships, submarines and the flagship cruiser “Moskva”, Oryx’s calculations based on public data show. Before the invasion of Ukraine, Russia’s fleet in the Black Sea numbered more than 70 ships.

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