Vladimir Putin dismisses head of Russian Navy Admiral Vladimir Kuroyedov

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Monday, September 5, 2005

Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin has relieved from power Admiral Vladimir Kuroyedov, the head of the Russian navy. This comes a month after an incident where 7 Russian sailors became trapped in a submarine, and had to be rescued with help from abroad.

No reason was given for Kuroyedov's dismissal, although Admiral Eduard Baltin speculated on Moscow Radio that it may be because of the navy chief's poor health. According to Reuters, he told Ekho Moskvy: "He has been lying in hospital for two months, he had a complicated operation."

Admiral Kuroyedov was in charge of the navy during the Kursk disaster of 2000, in which 118 sailors died when their submarine sank. Kuroyedov is being replaced by Vladimir Masorin, who was previously serving as the Chief of staff for the Russian Navy.

In remarks Putin made about this leadership change and referring to Masorin, he said "The recent exercises, including those I have attended, show that the navy is developing and that is certainly your merit to a large extent." Putin also added "at the same time, there were difficult events, tragedies, but I would like to underline once again that with all these problems, all these tragedies, the main thing is that the Navy is undergoing a revival."

Masorin added while in a hall at the Admiralty, "One thing is clear — to continue in the condition which we are in and do nothing is simply not possible. I have been given the task of stopping the navy shaking public opinion. I am not experiencing euphoria at being appointed head of the navy. I understand the level of responsibility on my shoulders."