Putin Is Replacing Top Military Leader

Putin Is Replacing Top Military Leader

Vladimir Putin Orders Replacement – Dropping the Axe!

(NewsReady.com) – Is Russian leader Vladimir Putin following the example of notorious dictator Josef Stalin? Russian media is reporting that Putin has fired a senior navy officer after the branch’s poor performance in the Ukraine war. It might be a sensible move, but it could also just be shooting the messenger.

On August 19, Russia’s government-owned TASS news agency reported that President Putin has replaced Admiral Igor Osipov, the former commander of the Black Sea Fleet, with Vice Admiral Viktor Sokolov. The Black Sea Fleet played a major role in the early days of the war, with Russian warships capturing the Ukrainian base on Snake Island and bombarding the coast.

Things have gone downhill, though. On April 13, the fleet’s flagship, the Slava-class missile cruiser Moskva, was hit by two Ukrainian missiles and sank the next day. It was the biggest warship destroyed in action since 1982, and seriously embarrassed the navy. In May, the UK’s Defence Intelligence Staff said Osipov had been suspended after the sinking. Now, it looks like Ukraine’s August 9 attack on a Russian airbase in Crimea was the last straw.

At 60 years old, Sokolov, the new commander of the fleet, is a much older and more experienced officer than the 49-year-old Osipov. Sokolov was deputy commander of the Northern Fleet for almost seven years, including commanding a Russian naval task force off Syria; then, for the last two years, he was head of the NG Kuznetsov Naval Academy, a staff college for senior officers.

Is Putin making a sensible move in bringing in a steady old hand? Or, is he simply lashing out over the embarrassment of the lost cruiser?

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