Russian President Vladimir Putin has replaced Admiral Aleksandr Vitko as the Commander of the Black Sea Fleet. Vitko is a defendant in the criminal case in Ukraine. According to Putin’s decree, Vitko was sent to a new service post in the main fleet command of the Russian Federation. Vice-Admiral Alexander Moiseev has become the new Commander of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation, TASS reports citing the Russian Ministry of Defense.
The Ukrainian Prosecutor’s office accuses Vitko of: intentionally committing criminal acts in order to change boundaries of the territory of the State border of Ukraine; inciting to commit high treason; organizing activities aimed at damaging facilities which are vital for defense; and planning, preparing and taking part directly in waging aggressive war against Ukraine during the period from February 20, to March 21, 2014, all in violation of Section 3 of Article 110, Section 4 of Article 27, Section 1 of Article 111, Section 3 of Article 27, Article 113, Section 2 of Article 28, and Sections 1 and 2 of Article 437 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.
Vitko is accused of taking part in the military annexation of the Crimea; of blocking military units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and of occupying the buildings and facilities of public authorities of Ukraine. All these actions led to the loss of public property amounting to 1.8 trillion hryvnia or about 41 billion USD.