By Chris King • 13 August 2022 • 1:18
Image of Vice Admiral Viktor Sokolov.
Credit: Wikipedia - By Mil.ru, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=91694870
According to Russian sources, Admiral Igor Osipov, the Commander of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation, has been relieved of his post today, Friday, August 12, by President Vladimir Putin. His position is believed to have been filled by Vice Admiral Viktor Sokolov.
This action is believed to have been executed as a direct consequence of the Ukrainian sabotage attack on the air base near the village of Novofedorivka in occupied Crimea last Tuesday, August 9.
The 43rd Marine Assault Aviation Regiment – the main strike force of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation – is based at that air base. According to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, satellite images show that a minimum of eight Russian combat aircraft were destroyed, along with two ammunition storage warehouses.
About half of the combat-ready aircraft and most of the base’s very valuable ammunition supply were destroyed. Heavy losses were caused to the infrastructure of the air base, and the 43rd regiment was seriously affected.
However, the Russian Ministry of Defense refused to confirm that any losses occurred during the attack. Satellite images clearly showed the charred wreckage of a number of aircraft but the Kremlin has denied any losses were incurred.
Russian propaganda has fallen silent since Tuesday, and Moscow has instead tried to divert attention with some other informational pretexts. The Kremlin is showing absolute helplessness and losing the information war.
Both Putin and his spokesman Peskov are quiet because how to explain this loss doesn’t fit into the statements of the head of the Russian Federation that “the special operation is proceeding according to a pre-approved plan”.
It is interesting though that even after the destruction of the flagship cruiser ‘Moskva’ from the Black Sea Fleet, of which Admiral Osipov was the commanding officer, he was not removed from his post. Yet, after Tuesday’s explosions, as a result of which, according to the statement of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, there were no casualties, the admiral subsequently lost his post.
Judging by the nature of the explosions, the air base was most likely blown up as a result of a successful sabotage operation by Ukrainians. There were no other hits, two distant warehouses exploded almost simultaneously. The loss of aircraft suffered in the attack is the largest in Russian history since the Second World War, as reported by censor.net.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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