Medvedev Cracks Down on Russian Navy Administration

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has taken a number of personnel decisions regarding the management of the Russian Navy in connection with the fire on the Navy base in Moscow.

"Navy Commander Admiral (Vladimir) Vysotsky must be issued a service incompetence note, Chief of Naval Staff and First Deputy Commander (Alexander) Tatarinov must be issued a service incompetence note, the Navy Chief of Logistics (Sergei) Sergeev must be dismissed," Medvedev said on Wednesday at the meeting of the members of the Security Council of Russia on fire safety at sensitive sites, Interfax reported.

Medvedev also announced the dismissal of a number of senior representatives of the Russian Navy: Chief of Naval Aviation Nicholai Kuklev, deputy chief of naval aviation, Colonel Sergei Rasskazov, Acting Deputy Chief of Naval Aviation and Logistics Manakov, and head of the base number 2512, where the fire occurred.

“I am instructing the Defense Minister to dismiss a number of officers for committed disciplinary violations,” the President said. The President also dismissed colonel Biront, head of the central air-technical base of naval aviation, from military service due to the failure to fulfill contract obligations. Medvedev warned that “if something similar happens elsewhere, in other departments, I will do exactly the same thing, without any regret.”

Medvedev mentioned the explosion that occurred at the Ministry of Defense facility in Ulyanovsk in November of last year. “Then we took certain actions, but, as it is obvious from the current situation, they were insufficient. And despite the fact that I brought the Defense Ministry to work on putting out fires, to help the civilian population, unfortunately, in some cases, the ministry cannot defend itself, “said the President.

He stressed that the fire that occurred at Ministry of Defense facility in the Moscow region had serious consequences. “Preliminary investigation on the matter with the Ministry of Defense has been conducted, but the investigation will continue. It has been revealed that what happened was just the failure of duty, gross negligence. The fire that was spreading at a fairly modest pace was not localized,” the President said. He drew attention to the fact that “whereabouts of the leadership of the base during the fire was unknown.”

As previously reported by the representative of the investigative committee, “On July 29, at 4pm at the warehouse located near Kolomna, a fire has occurred, which resulted in burning down of the headquarters, the financial part of the club, two bays for cars fleet, 13 storage facilities with air equipment for different purposes, and 17 open area storage units with cars.” On July 30 fire was localized. No one was hurt.

The President has also warned the leadership of the Defense Ministry that it would also bear responsibility in case of recurrence of the situation that took place at Moscow Navy base, where the fire occurred.

At a meeting with Russia Security Council members on Wednesday, Medvedev instructed Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov to take the issues of fire safety at sensitive sites under the direct control.

"Conduct a meeting with the leadership of the Ministry and tell them that if something else gets on fire, everyone will be held responsible," Medvedev stated. Serdyukov responded assuring the President that “what happened on base number 2512 will not happen again.”

“Assist civil departments and learn how to defend yourselves,” said Medvedev. He also instructed the Minister of Defense to maintain operative interaction with local authorities, “so that the governors stop calling the Ministry of Defense about every little issue.”

“I had a conversation with the governor of Vladimir region. He said that there are issues of local significance and that they have to call almost a commander of the district to solve them. It is necessary that such matters are solved directly by unit commanders who would have all the authority, in the worst case scenario, who would call someone and check the situation,” said Medvedev. He expressed the hope that these issues are solved.

The President also said that due to the spread of fires in the Russian regions, certain conclusions will be made. The conclusions will be preceded by debriefing with the governors and the Government.

"Before these conclusions are made, I will gather the governors and the government, and we will hold a debriefing to see who worked, and who did what," Medvedev said at a meeting with Russian Security Council members on Wednesday.

The President also stressed that “before these conclusions are made, we must put out the situation.” According to Medvedev, the work being carried out today by MES is “at the limit.’ “They are doing great work, they are all heroes,” the President said.

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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov