Fresh Humiliation For Putin As He Sacks His Top Naval Commander

Fresh Humiliation For Putin As He Sacks His Top Naval Commander

Vladimir Putin is thought to have sacked his top navy commander after being humiliated in the conflict with Ukraine.

Local media states that Admiral Nikolai Yevmenov has been replaced following a series of losses in the Black Sea.

The Fontanka news outlet reported on Sunday that Russia has appointed Admiral Alexander Moiseev as acting commander-in-chief of the Russian navy.

The 61-year-old currently commander of the Northern Fleet, will soon be appointed as naval commander-in-chief on a permanent basis.

Fontanka, a private news service based in St Petersburg, did not mention any reason for the appointment.

It said the navy’s press service redirected its request for a comment to the defence ministry which did not respond to a request for comment.

Ukraine has in recent months stepped up attacks in the Black Sea and on Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014.

Kyiv has reported a series of strikes, including the sinking of a large landing ship by naval drones in mid-February and a patrol ship this week. Russia has not acknowledged any such losses.

It comes as Pope Francis has said that Ukraine should have what he called the courage of the “white flag” and negotiate an end to the war with Russia.

Over the weekend, Ukraine rebuffed Pope Francis’s call to negotiate an end to the war with Russia, with President Vlodimir Zelensky saying the pontiff was engaging in “virtual mediation” and his foreign minister saying Kyiv would never capitulate.

Meanwhile, Russia said Pope Francis’s call for talks with Moscow to end the war in Ukraine was a request to Kyiv’s Western allies to abandon their ambition to defeat Russia and to recognise the West’s mistake in the Ukraine war.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said: “The way I see it, the Pope is asking the West to put aside its ambitions and admit that it was wrong.”

Russian ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said the embassy in Washington is in “close contact” with the US State Department ahead of the presidential election in Russia.

He said on the embassy’s Telegram channel: “In the conditions of constant provocations, the embassy works calmly. We are dealing with issues related to the organization of the upcoming elections in a business-like manner.

“We are in close contact with the secret service of the State Department. We expect that the Americans will fulfil their obligations to ensure the security of the diplomatic mission.”

Antonov did not specify what provocations he was referring to, saying only that the “degree of Russophobic rhetoric” of President Joe Biden’s administration “is off the chart.”

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