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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia's new Pacific Fleet commander takes office

RIA Novosti

22/12/2007 16:51 MOSCOW, December 22 (RIA Novosti) - Rear Admiral Konstantin Sidenko was introduced as commander of Russia's Pacific Fleet in the port of Vladivostok on Saturday.

Sidenko, 53, was appointed to the post on December 6 as part of a major military leadership reshuffle. Sidenko was chief of staff and deputy commander of the Pacific Fleet since April 2002.

Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said in August that the entire Navy leadership would be reshuffled by the end of 2007 to ensure the Navy's future development and strengthen the combat readiness of naval forces.

Earlier this year, Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky, 53, replaced Admiral Vladimir Masorin as Navy Commander, while Vice Admiral Alexander Kletskov, 52, was appointed commander of the Black Sea Fleet and Vice Admiral Nikolai Maksimov, 51, became commander of the Northern Fleet.

Russia's current naval strategy continues to focus on the development of its strategic naval nuclear forces. Fourth-generation Borey-class nuclear submarines armed with Bulava-M ballistic missiles would form the core of the submarine fleet. The first submarine of the series, Yury Dolgoruky, is expected to join the Navy in 2008.

Russia has also made a decision to start serial production of the Bulava-M missile, following a successful test launch in late June.

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