Unrest in the Black Sea Fleet?

In Part 2 of his article, Shurygin ended by describing the Black Sea Fleet as being on the verge of an explosion.  We’ll see if he elaborates on this in the final part when it’s published.

Meanwhile, on 12 November, Moskovskiy komsomolets wrote about thousands of officers and families in Sevastopol “thrown to their fate,” without the possibility of getting a job in Ukraine, and left practically without money and housing.  The author, Yekaterina Petukhova, like Shurygin, said the situation in Crimea is on the “verge of revolt.”

Young BSF Officer and Guided Missile Cruiser Moskva

According to Petukhova, 2,000 BSF personnel were cut in 2009, and another 9,000 have been warned that they will be dismissed.  She talked to an officer named Oleg, who said he was one of the “fortunate” ones who were put outside the fleet’s TO&E.

The situation’s not worse anywhere.  They’ve already cut thousands, now they’re mowing down the command and control organs.  When they put you outside the TO&E, for a half year they still pay your salary, but minus premiums and minus the supplement for handling secret information.  But this is nevertheless some money.  But then it’s all gone.  View it however you want.  But we’re all here with Russian citizenship.  Where are they going to let us work?  And we can’t go back anywhere in Russia.  They don’t want to give us the service apartments in Sevastopol which we lived in all this time.  They are proposing several cities in Russia, but there really aren’t apartments there—it’s excavation that could go on forever.  And so officers sit, they don’t get pay, nor can they finalize a pension without a permanent residence permit.

Oleg went on to say that single officers especially don’t know what to do.  They aren’t giving out single apartments and, if they get together with a friend and apply for an apartment for two, they are derided as homosexuals.

He gives his view of how it might end. 

Can you generally imagine such a crowd of healthy men, who know military matters firsthand, wandering around Crimea and the quays?  Some kind of Lenin will be found and he’ll raise a crowd, then people will wish he hadn’t turned up.  The fleet commander is silent, everyone spits on us, a kind of chaos is being created.

Petukhova ends by noting that when Kyiv makes a move against the BSF, Moscow politicians race to the defense of Russian sailors, but they’re all silent when the Russian authorities have driven thousands of BSF men and their families to the edge.  She concludes that the ‘new profile’ of the armed forces has an unpleasant odor.

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