Russia’s Black Sea Fleet is expected to receive 12 new vessels along with additional air and ground vehicles in 2022, newly appointed fleet commander Vice Admiral Viktor Sokolov said, according to state news agency TASS.
“The Black Sea Fleet participates in the special military operation and successfully completes all the missions assigned to it,” Sokolov told a group of young officers, according to TASS.
The state news agency RIA reported on Wednesday that Sokolov was appointed head of the Black Sea Fleet. He replaced Igor Osipov, head of the fleet since 2019, after a series of failures. Last week, explosions at an air base in Crimea destroyed much of a fleet air force.
In April, the fleet’s flagship, the cruiser Moskva, sank after a missile strike, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry said. Two months later, the Black Sea Fleet withdrew from the strategically important Snake Island near the Ukrainian port of Odessa.
Russia calls its military campaign in Ukraine a “special military operation” aimed at demilitarizing and “de-Naziizing” Ukraine. Kyiv and Western governments say it is a pretext for an imperialist-style war of conquest.