Russia’s Black Sea Fleet gets new commander
Russia’s Black Sea Fleet has installed a new commander, according to a source from the fleet who spoke to RIA Novosti. Vice Admiral Viktor Sokolov was reportedly appointed by the fleet’s military council on orders from Vladimir Putin.
“There was no public ceremony and likely won’t be one due to the fact that the city [Sevastopol] is under a yellow [high] terrorist threat level,” the source said.
A source who knows Sokolov personally said that it’s normal for such high-ranking appointments to go unannounced during a “special military operation.” Sokolov, he said, is currently “being brought up to speed.”
Black Sea Fleet representatives haven’t officially commented on the reports. No presidential order on the appointment of a new commander has been released publicly.
If the reports of Viktor Sokolov’s appointment are true, Sokolov will replace Vice-Admiral Igor Osipov, who was appointed commander of the Black Sea Fleet by presidential decree in March 2019.
After the Russian missile cruiser Moskva sank in April 2022, some Ukrainian media outlets reported that Osipov had been suspended from his post and taken into custody while investigators looked into the incident. On June 19, however, Osipov attended at the graduation ceremony at a naval school in Sevastopol.