Russia’s Black Sea Fleet ‘completing’ its tasks, TASS quotes commander as saying

By Thomson Reuters Aug 19, 2022 | 4:38 AM

LONDON (Reuters) – Russia’s Black Sea Fleet is set to receive 12 new vessels alongside additional aviation and land-based vehicles in 2022, newly appointed commander Vice Admiral Viktor Sokolov said on Friday, state-owned TASS news agency reported.

“The Black Sea Fleet is participating in the special military operation, and is successfully completing all the tasks set for it,” TASS quote him as telling a group of young officers.

State-owned news agency RIA said on Wednesday that Sokolov had been appointed head of the Black Sea Fleet. He replaced Igor Osipov, its head since 2019, after a series of setbacks. The week before, blasts at an airbase in Crimea destroyed much of one of the fleet’s air regiments.

In April, the fleet’s flagship, the cruiser Moskva, was sunk in what Ukraine’s Defence Ministry said was a missile strike. Two months later, the Black Sea Fleet withdrew from strategically vital Snake Island, near the Ukrainian port of Odesa.

Russia refers to its military campaign in Ukraine as a “special military operation”, aimed at demilitarising and “denazifying” Ukraine. Both Kyiv and Western governments say that is a pretext for an imperial-style war of conquest.

(This story has been refiled to add attribution to headline)

(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Nick Macfie)