Putin ousts commander of Russias Pacific Fleet after surprise inspection

Putin ousts commander of Russia’s Pacific Fleet after ‘surprise inspection’ – New York Post


04/20/2023 | 1:17 p.m

The commander of Russia’s Pacific Fleet has resigned while overseeing naval exercises and missile launches as part of a “surprise inspection” to test the fleet’s combat readiness.

President Vladimir Putin’s envoy to Russia’s Far East announced Thursday that Admiral Sergei Avakyants had been removed from his post.

Yury Trutnev said Avakyants, 66, who has commanded the Pacific Fleet since 2012, will head a new organization that will manage military training and patriotic education centers to be opened in 11 Russian regions and Ukraine’s illegally annexed Donetsk.

According to the state news agency RIA Novosti, Admiral Viktor Liina, who has been commander of the Russian Baltic Fleet since 2021, is being considered as Avakyants’ successor.

The military reorganization comes less than a week after Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu placed the Pacific Fleet on high alert for fast-track drills around disputed islands near the Japanese island of Hokkaido.

Admiral Sergei Avakyants, 66, was relieved of his post after commanding Russia’s Pacific Fleet for more than a decade. The ousting of TASS Avakyants came less than a week after Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu ordered military exercises to test the Pacific Fleet’s readiness. ZUMAPRESS.com

The drills, which Russia has described as “routine,” included torpedo tests, missile launches and “mock strikes” on enemy naval forces.

Japan criticized the drills on Monday, but Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov insisted the drills would be conducted “in strict accordance with international law.”

“Our environment is very turbulent on many fronts. It’s full of conflict situations, regional conflicts,” Peskov told reporters. “We are all aware of the geography of these regional conflicts.”

The Pacific Fleet’s rapid drills took place around disputed islands near the Japanese island of Hokkaido. Via Portal The Kremlin said the exercises, which included missile launches and torpedo tests, were held in accordance with international law. Via Portal An envoy from President Vladimir Putin said Avakyants will be tasked with running training centers for military and patriotic education. SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images

Russia’s apparent goal for the quick controls was to show the world that it can still project violence in the Pacific despite the fact that its military is thinned and severely depleted by the war in Ukraine.

Russian state television broadcast a video on Monday in which Putin received a report on Shoigu’s Pacific exercises.

Publicly, Putin said the naval exercises – which ended on Thursday – showed that the Pacific Fleet had a high level of combat readiness.

With mail wires

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