Putin fires Navy chief after series of humiliating defeats

Putin fires Navy chief after series of humiliating defeats
Admiral Nikolai Evmenov in contemplative mood about Russian naval reversals in the Black Sea. He has recently been replaced. / Russian Navy
By bne IntelliNews March 12, 2024

Russian President Vladimir Putin has fired the commander of the country’s navy after suffering a number of humiliating losses in the Black Sea.

Citing anonymous sources, a number of Russian outlets reported on March 10 that Admiral Nikolai Evmenov had been dismissed. Evmenov has led the navy since 2019. He has been replaced by Admiral Alexander Moiseev, commander of the Northern Fleet.

The change in leadership follows significant developments in Russia's maritime operations in the Black Sea, where Ukraine has successfully forced Russia to retreat many of its ships to ports further away. Utilising a combination of advanced weaponry from Western allies and domestically produced drones, Ukraine has managed to inflict substantial damage on Russian naval assets, despite Ukraine itself not having any real navy. 

Alongside sunken warships, recent attacks have also seen critical damage to two Russian A-50 long-range radar detection planes, which are a significant setback for Russian reconnaissance and communication capabilities in the region. Ukraine's successes have not only disrupted Russian operations but have also enabled the reopening of Ukrainian ports for exports, bolstering Kyiv's economic resilience.

The firing of Evmenov has yet to be confirmed officially, with Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s spokesman, dealing to comment following widespread speculation. 

“There are decrees classified as ‘secret’ and I can’t comment on them. There have not been any open decrees for publication on this matter,” Peskov said on March 11.