Admiral Victor Lina, the former commander of Russia’s Baltic Fleet, has been appointed as the new commander of Russia’s Pacific Fleet.
Moscow has appointed a new commander to lead its Baltic and Pacific fleets, Interfax and TASS news agencies reported.
Admiral Victor Lina, the former commander of Russia’s Baltic Fleet, is now in charge of the Pacific Fleet, and Vice Admiral Vladimir Vorobyov is the new commander of the Baltic Fleet, news agencies reported Friday.
Liina succeeds former Pacific Fleet chief Sergei Avakyants, who unexpectedly announced his retirement on Thursday.
“Deputy Chief of General Staff Lieutenant General Vladimir Vorobyov has been appointed commander of the Baltic Fleet. Relevant documents have been signed,” Interfax news agency quoted a military source on Friday as saying.
News of the Avakyants’ removal comes just days after the Pacific Fleet was ordered to take part in an unannounced major exercise said to simulate Russian forces repelling a “theoretical enemy landing,” according to the Moscow Times.
Avakyants, 65, is officially retiring as he has reached retirement age. On the other hand, independent media pointed out that part of the fleet said to be led by the Avakyants suffered huge losses in the war against Ukraine.
Vice Admiral Vladimir Vorobyov, a submarine officer, has been named commander of Russia’s Baltic Fleet. He succeeds Vice Admiral Viktor Liina, also a submarine officer, who took over command of the Pacific Fleet. https://t.co/zB5IQ07seOhttps://t.co/vNpMypO71t pic.twitter.com/qDbgxVPDDP
— Rob Lee (@RALee85) April 21, 2023
The Moscow Times added that the Pacific Fleet, based in the port of Vladivostok, did not comment on the restructuring.
Russia has a total of four fleets. The largest is the so-called Northern Fleet, which includes a heavy aircraft carrier and two guided missile cruisers. The second largest fleet is the Pacific Fleet, followed by the Black Sea and Baltic Fleets.
Members of all four naval services also fought in Russia’s war against Ukraine — mostly as Marines.
Reports of Lena’s appointment as commander of the Pacific Fleet coincided with the fleet’s completion of exercises in the Pacific under the supervision of Russian Navy Chief Admiral Nikolai Yevmenov, according to the Institute for War Studies (ISW), a US think tank.
“The ISW’s dismissal may have been due to his inability to rebuild after ISW had previously assessed that he was unable to rebuild a massive pre-war Pacific Fleet readiness check due to the heavy combat losses of the Pacific Fleet in Ukraine,” the think tank said on Friday.
In the future, Avakyants will head an organization that oversees military training and patriotic education, according to state media.