After carrying out a thorough inspection of its strategic Baltic Fleet, Russia has decided to dismiss a number of key officials due to “serious shortcomings.” As these were being addressed, the Russian defense minister ordered for another inspection of its fleet before the year ends.
Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu ordered the dismissal of Russia’s Baltic Fleet Commander Viktor Kravchuk along with the fleet’s Chief of Staff Sergey Popov. The Defense Ministry’s press service said they were dismissed after the inspection revealed deficiencies in the fleet’s combat training as well as distortion in the officers’ real state of affairs.
“They are subject to removal from their posts and dismissal from military service,” according to the ministry’s press service.
According to a report from Russian news agency TASS, the Baltic Fleet underwent inspection from May 11 to June 10. Following this, Shoigu reportedly “ordered to approve as soon as possible the plan of removing the shortcomings.”
A report from UPI also revealed that as much as 50 high-ranking officers were dismissed in total. During a visiting session on Wednesday, Russia’s Defense Ministry collegium discussed the results of the inspection, which was carried out on the Baltic Fleet’s command, formations and units.
On the other hand, Moscow ordered for an unannounced combat readiness inspection of the Russian Armed Forces last month. It was meant to assess the troops’ “armament, hardware storing bases and separate military bodies.” During the inspection, special attention was paid to their mobilization capability and ability to perform tasks when it comes to “armed conflicts of different intensity.”
During a recent military session, Shoigu also noted that the U.S. and its NATO allies are relentless in “building-up their military potential.” He also pointed out that its military exercises have doubled. It is possible that the dismissal of officers with “shortcomings” is part of Moscow’s plan to improve its Baltic Fleet in response to recent U.S. and NATO aggression.
As far as combat readiness is concerned, Russia has organized command-and-staff trainings with neighbor Belarus. At the same time, a Collective Rapid Reaction Force “Interaction-2016” training has been organized. It will include troops from Russia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan.