Medvedev replaces Russian Navy commander

Last Updated: Monday, May 7, 2012 - 08:59

Moscow: Outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has dismissed the commander of the Russian Navy, Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky.

He has now appointed Vice-Admiral Viktor Chirkov for the position, the Kremlin press office reported on Sunday, without explaining the reasons for the dismissal.

The 57-year-old Vysotsky occupied the top military post for almost five years.

Chirkov, 52, was commander of the Baltic Fleet, before his appointment.

After his appointment, Chirkov said he would prioritise the construction of Navy fleets in Russia.

"The most important thing for Russia is to build a fleet with the support of the President and like-minded persons," Chirkov said.

In a similar move in late April, Medvedev sacked the Air Force commander, Colonel-General Alexander Zelin.

Zelin, 59, occupied the top military post for five years, during which the Air Force begun to receive new aircraft and equipment in significant numbers.

Medvedev appointed Major-General Viktor Bondarev, 52, as the new Air Force commander, and Zelin as an aide to the Russian Defence Minister.

Senior military commanders in Russia usually retire at age 60.

Igor Korotchenko, chairman of the Defence Ministry`s public council, said the reshuffle was a normal practice for military officials.

"Medevedev`s move will give the road to new, younger military specialists," he said.

IANS



First Published: Monday, May 7, 2012 - 08:59

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