Russia’s Defense Ministry announced yesterday that President Boris Yeltsin has appointed Vice-Admiral Vladimir Komoyedov as commander of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, based in Ukraine. Born in 1950 in Ukraine’s Dnipropetrovsk region, and officially classified as an ethnic Ukrainian, Komoyedov served in the Soviet–later Russian–Baltic Fleet from 1972 to 1997, rising to the position of chief of staff of that fleet. Last year, Komoyedov was appointed first deputy commander of Russia’s Northern Fleet.
Komoyedov replaces Admiral Viktor Kravchenko, who has commanded Russia’s Black Sea Fleet since 1996. Kravchenko (who happens to be an ethnic Russian from Russia, notwithstanding his Ukrainian surname) is moving up from Sevastopol to Moscow as Chief of the Main Staff of Russia’s Navy. The Russian Black Sea Fleet currently consists of approximately 400 vessels, including 110 combat ships and boats. The Ukrainian fleet has approximately 125 vessels, including 45 combat ships and boats. (Russian agencies, July 6)
SHEVARDNADZE PREPARED TO ORDER LEGAL STEPS AGAINST “SLANDERERS.”