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Ukraine war: Putin reshuffles Russian navy brass

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NEW DELHI: In a significant reshuffling of its naval command, Russia has appointed a new commander-in-chief for its navy, alongside new leaders for two of its key fleets, as announced by the Russian defense ministry. Admiral Aleksandr Moiseev, who has been awarded the title of ‘Hero of Russia’ and previously served as the Northern Fleet commander, has been appointed by President Vladimir Putin to lead the country’s naval forces.
Moiseev’s promotion is accompanied by Vice-admiral Konstantin Kabantsov taking over the Northern Fleet, succeeding Moiseev, and Vice-admiral Sergey Pinchuk assuming command of the Black Sea fleet.
Defense minister Sergey Shoigu has expressed his congratulations to the officers, highlighting the expectation that they will meet the objectives set forth by the Commander-in-Chief, the defense ministry, and the Russian nation. Moiseev’s military career began in the early 1980s as a submariner in the Soviet Northern Fleet. His commendable service includes being awarded the Order of Courage in the early 1990s for a mission that led to Russian flags being planted at the North Pole and being the first to launch two satellites into orbit from a submerged submarine in 1998.
In 2011, Moiseev was honored with Russia’s highest military award, ‘Hero of Russia,’ for his successful oversight of test launches of advanced missile weapons. Moiseev’s leadership roles have included commanding the Russian Black Sea fleet between 2018 and 2019 before his appointment as the Northern Fleet commander later in 2019. He replaces Admiral Nikolay Yevmenov, who had been the commander of the Russian Navy since 2019.
Meanwhile, Russia has seen a significant jump in the number of people signing contracts to join the armed forces since last month’s deadly attack on a concert hall near Moscow, the defence ministry said on Wednesday.
In a statement, it said more than 100,000 people have signed contracts with the military since the start of the year, including about 16,000 in the past 10 days alone.
“During interviews conducted over the past week at selection points in Russian cities, most candidates indicated the desire to avenge those killed in the tragedy that occurred on March 22, 2024 in the Moscow region as the main motive for concluding a contract,” the ministry said.
At least 144 people were killed in a mass shooting and fire at the Crocus City Hall concert venue in an attack that was claimed by the Islamic State militant group.
Russia has said, however, that the attackers were linked to Ukraine – something Kyiv has repeatedly denied and the United States has dismissed as nonsense.
Russia is relying on a steady stream of new recruits to the armed forces in order to wage the war in Ukraine, now well into its third year.
(With inputs from agencies)

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