A new commander has taken over Russia’s Black Sea Fleet after the last one allowed his warships to be bombed by drones.

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  • Russia replaced the commander of the Black Sea Fleet on Tuesday.

  • Deputy Adm. Sergei Pinchuk enters the role with a difficult task ahead of him.

  • Western intelligence says the former general was removed after a successful campaign in Ukraine.

Russia has replaced the commander of the Black Sea Fleet, giving him Vice Adm. Sergei Pinchuk the dangerous role of overseeing naval operations in an area that has long troubled Moscow.

The policy change is part of a wider overhaul of Russia’s naval leadership and comes as Moscow seeks to halt Ukraine’s continued missile and drone attacks on its warships in the Black Sea.

Russian Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu announced the president’s decision to appoint Pinchuk as commander of the Black Sea Fleet in a telephonic meeting on Tuesday with the leadership of the military, according to information published by the Ministry of Defense in Moscow to the Telegraph information platform.

Pinchuk is a naval officer who was the second Adm. Viktor Sokolov, former commander of the Black Sea Fleet.

In this photo released by the Russian Defense Ministry on Tuesday, April 2, 2024, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu leads a meeting with the leadership of the Armed Forces at the National Defense Control Center in Moscow, Russia.

In this photo released by the Russian Defense Ministry on Tuesday, April 2, 2024, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu leads a meeting with the leadership of the Armed Forces at the National Defense Control Center in Moscow, Russia.Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP

Russian bloggers first reported in mid-February that the Kremlin fired Sokolov and replaced him with Pinchuk, although Moscow did not appear to announce it until this week.

In Sunday smart updatestwo days before the Russian order was issued, the British Ministry of Defense said that Sokolov had been replaced “following the Ukrainian success” by using unmanned aerial vehicles, or USVs, to attack and destroy Russian warships in port and at sea.

Because Ukraine does not have its own proper navy, he said relied on these systems to wage an asymmetrical war against the Black Sea Fleet. Russia has done so took precautions to protect its warships, but the navy has failed to consistently defend against the USV threat.

Shoigu expressed concern about this serious threat, and Pinchuk, the British Ministry of Defense said, “may want to improve the chances of survival of Russian ships by adopting other defensive and defensive measures, including reducing access to ports.”

Recent intelligence updates include recent images of the port in Novorossiysk, on Russia’s west coast, where some of the Black Sea Fleet are he was moved to leave from its vulnerable capital in Sevastopol, a port city on the Crimean peninsula.

The pictures show that Russia did they put boats at the entrance to the port of Novorossiysk in order to protect the Ukrainian USV.

Russian Black Sea shipsRussian Black Sea ships

Russian warships of the Black Sea Fleet take part in Navy Day celebrations in the city of Novorossiysk on July 30, 2023.STRINGER/AFP via Getty Images

This appears to be the first example of the new commander trying to achieve his perceived goals of protecting the fleet.

It remains to be seen, however, whether this will be enough to stop the invasion of Ukraine. Beyond its USV power, Kyiv too missiles to destroy the Black Sea Fleet. Russia has lost about a third of its warships since the beginning of the great war more than two years ago.

On Tuesday, the president’s order, also encouraged Adm. Aleksandr Moiseyev – who was previously the commander of the Black Sea Fleet – overseeing all Russian forces and Vice Adm. Konstantin Kabantsov to command his Northern Fleet.

“Comrades, thank you! You realize the great responsibility that lies upon you,” Shoigu said during the teleconference, according to the statement of the Ministry of Defense of Russia.

“I believe that you will cope with the tasks set by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation and, the country,” he added.

Read the first article Business Insider

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