Russian Navy Chief Sacked
As the fallout from the AS-28 rescue continues in Russia, President Putin today fired Navy chief Admiral Vladimir Kuroyedov. In a departure from old Soviet practices, however, Putin found it in him to praise the fired officer:
"Mr Putin has praised Admiral Kuroyedov's efforts in helping with naval reform but also notes the bad times during his term since 1997.
"Since that time, we have not simply restored a significant part of the Navy but also created a realistic program for its development," he said.
"At the same time, there were difficult events, tragedies. We all know about that.
"But I would like to underline once again that with all these problems, all these tragedies, the main thing is that the navy is undergoing a revival."
Next up for firings should be either the Pacific Fleet commanders or more senior submariners. I'll be watching as it unfolds.
Bellringer 1135 05 Sep: Outside The Beltway has more on the story.
Update 1141 05 Sep: The other shoes are starting to drop. The new Navy chief, Admiral Vladimir Masorin, announced that "...Rear Admiral Alexander Zaika, the deputy commander of Russian forces in the North Eastern District, had been relieved of his duties and several other officials had been disciplined."
He went on to discuss some specifics of the comical Russian attempts to perform the rescue themselves:
"According to Masorin, a decision to assign an unskilled operator to conduct the rescue operation using a Russian-made underwater robot, Venom, led to the vehicle being damaged.
"We had the Venom vehicle, but its staff operator was not there, and nobody was on hand to substitute him," the officer said."
Admiral Masonin, the former Russian Navy Chief of Staff, had headed the investigation into the AS-28 calamity before being elevated to his present job. Before that, he was commander of the Black Sea Fleet. I'm not sure which warfare community he comes from, but I did read that the new commander of the Russian Northern Fleet is a skimmer, breaking a long tradition of giving that job to a submariner. My guess is that the submariners are losing their power in the Russian fleet.