Russia’s Baltic Fleet command suspended over combat training failures, distorted reporting – MOD

Vice Admiral Viktor Kravchuk © Evgeniy Karasev
Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has suspended the Russian Navy’s Baltic Fleet commander over shortcomings in organizing sailors’ combat training as well as filing distorted reports to superior command, according to the ministry.

“The commander of the Baltic Fleet, his chief of staff and a number of officers have been suspended by the defense minister [Sergey Shoigu] after an inspection,” read a Defense Ministry statement released on Wednesday. “They are expected to be deposed from their positions and dismissed from the armed forces.”

Shoigu criticized military commanders whose poor performance led to “serious shortcomings in their duties,” the ministry’s press service added.

The Baltic Fleet commander, Rear Admiral Viktor Kravchuk, and his chief of staff, Rear Admiral Sergey Popov, were given the penalties for “serious shortcomings in organizing combat training, daily activities of their units, poor care of their subordinates as well as misrepresenting the real situation in their reports.”

The defense minister has ordered the failures to be addressed as quickly as possible, and for Baltic Fleet inspections to begin again by the end of the year.

According to Russian media, Rear Admiral Kravchuk had been in charge of the Baltic Fleet since 2012.

The Baltic Fleet is subordinated to the Western Military District, whose strategic task is to defend the European part of Russia. It has over 50 warships, including next-generation frigates, corvettes, fast attack craft and submarines.