Last Wednesday afternoon, President Putin put his Supreme Glavk hat back on and met for a bit with uniformed military leaders on Armed Forces development, manning, training, and social support issues.
The nine-minute video of Putin’s introductory remarks provides a chance to catch up on the players. There are, of course, many changes of late.
This photo lets us survey everyone (even if only the top of a head or partial face in some cases).
From the left, to Putin in the center, to the extreme right:
- Rear-Admiral Sergey Alekminskiy, Caspian Flotilla Commander.
- Rear-Admiral Aleksandr Fedotenkov, Black Sea Fleet Commander.
- Rear-Admiral Sergey Avakyants, Pacific Fleet Commander.
- General-Colonel Valeriy Gerasimov, Central Military District Commander.
- General-Colonel Arkadiy Bakhin, Western Military District Commander.
- General-Lieutenant Vladimir Shamanov, Airborne Troops (VDV) Commander.
- Vice-Admiral Viktor Chirkov, Navy Commander-in-Chief.
- General-Colonel Vladimir Chirkin, Ground Troops Commander-in-Chief.
- Anatoliy Serdyukov, RF Defense Minister.
- Vladimir Putin, RF President and Supreme Commander-in-Chief.
- Army General Nikolay Makarov, General Staff Chief.
- General-Major Viktor Bondarev, Air Forces Commander-in-Chief.
- General-Lieutenant Sergey Karakayev, Strategic Missile Troops (RVSN) Commander.
- General-Lieutenant Oleg Ostapenko, Aerospace Defense Troops Commander.
- General-Colonel Aleksandr Galkin, Southern Military District Commander.
- General-Lieutenant Anatoliy Sidorov, Eastern Military District First Deputy Commander.
- Vice-Admiral Vladimir Korolev, Northern Fleet Commander.
- Vice-Admiral Viktor Kravchuk, Deputy Baltic Fleet Commander.
Here are a few more looks at the table . . .
In some sense, maybe it is a new face, or at least a reworked one.
We can’t leave this visite de visages (?!) without observations.
The Navy’s top ranks have been cleared. Its new leaders are pretty junior. With Chirkov moving up to CINC, Kravchuk is probably acting and set to become Baltic Fleet Commander.
The same thing might be said about the Air Forces with one-star Bondarev in charge. He should be promoted quickly. Recall he took a pretty hard line against Igor Sulim.
Gerasimov took over for Chirkin when he became Ground Troops CINC.
While other commanders have been held down in ranks, the MD commanders have crept up to three-stars.
Karakayev’s got to wonder when he’ll get his third. Ostapenko probably knows Karakayev will get another before he does.
Sidorov is apparently filling in for Eastern MD Commander, Admiral Konstantin Sidenko at this session.