Medvedev Replaces Russian Navy Commander

Outgoing President Dmitry Medvedev has dismissed Russian Navy Commander, Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky, and appointed Vice-Admiral Viktor Chirkov for the position, the Kremlin press office reported on Sunday, without explaining the reasons for the dismissal.

Vysotsky, 57, has occupied the top military post for almost five years.

The new Navy Commander Chirkov, 52, was commander of the Baltic Fleet, before his appointment.

After his appointment, Chirkov said he would prioritize the construction of navy fleets in Russia.

“The most important thing for Russia is to build a fleet with the support of the president and like-minded persons,” Chirkov told RIA Novosti.

In a similar move in late April, Medvedev sacked Russian Air Force Commander, Colonel-General Alexander Zelin, and dismissed him from military service.

Zelin, 59, has occupied the top military post for five years, during which the air force has begun to receive new aircraft and equipment in significant numbers for the first time since the end of the Soviet Union.

By his decrees, Medvedev has also appointed Major-General Viktor Bondarev, 52, as Russia’s new Air Force Commander, and Zelin as an aide to the Russian defense minister, the press office said.

Senior military commanders in Russia usually retire at age 60.

Igor Korotchenko, chairman of the Defense Ministry’s Public Council previously said that the reshuffle was a normal practice for military officials.

“Medevedev’s move will give the road to new, younger military specialists,” Korotchenko said.


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