Russia appoints a series of naval commanders
Admiral Alexander Moiseev during the flag-raising ceremony on the Generalissimus Suvorov nuclear submarine in Severodvinsk in December 2022. Photo: Russian Defense Ministry

Minister Shoigu announced a decree appointing Admiral Moiseev as naval commander and new commanders of the Northern Fleet and Black Sea Fleet.

“During a meeting with military commanders, General Sergey Shoigu announced the decree of the President of Russia appointing Admiral Alexander Moiseev as naval commander, Vice Admiral Konstantin Kabantsov as commander of the Northern Fleet, and deputy Admiral Sergey Pinchuk as commander of the Black Sea Fleet,” the Russian Ministry of Defense announced on April 2.

General Shoigu hopes the new Russian naval commanders “understand the great responsibility” in their new positions. “I hope you will be able to solve the tasks set by the Commander-in-Chief, the Ministry of Defense and the country of Russia,” Mr. Shoigu said.

Admiral Moiseev in March became acting commander of the Russian navy, replacing his predecessor Nikolai Yevmenov. Mr. Moiseev served as commander of the Northern Fleet before accepting his new position.

Vice Admiral Kabantsov served as chief of staff and first deputy commander of the Northern Fleet under Admiral Moiseev, then became acting commander of the fleet on March 21.

Vice Admiral Pinchuk, born in Sevastopol on the Crimean peninsula, served as commander of the Caspian Flotilla of the Russian Navy from 2016 to 2021. Mr. Pinchuk then held the position of chief of staff and first deputy commander of the Black Sea Fleet, before replacing former fleet commander Viktor Sokolov.

The decision to appoint new commanders is part of a widespread reform plan for the Russian navy, taking place while the service suffered many losses in the Black Sea because of Ukrainian raids. The Black Sea Fleet must bring many warships from Sevastopol to the Novorossiysk base located further east to better protect them.

Ukraine recently used suicide boats to attack Russian warships in the Black Sea at night, damaging and even sinking some ships. In the most recent raid on March 24, Ukraine claimed to have hit two large landing ships and the Russian communications center in Sevastopol.