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Russian Military Begins Baltic Fleet Reinspection After Officer Purge

A special military commission has begun its re-inspection of the Baltic Fleet after its entire senior command was fired in late June, the TASS news agency reported Tuesday.

The re-inspection will check “progress in eliminating shortcomings” in the fleet which were revealed during a month-long Defense Ministry inspection last month, TASS reported.

The ministry dismissed the fleet’s entire senior and mid-level command after the initial inspection, including fleet commander Vice Admiral Viktor Kravchuk. Observers have tied the dismissals to incompetence and corruption, including cover-ups and misuse of funds. The purge was the largest mass-firings of naval officers since the Stalin era.

The Baltic Fleet has come under renewed focus from Western officials’ concerned about a perceived Russian military threat in the region.

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