"AFTER THE USSR DOWN THE ARMY WAS DELIVERED IN A TERRIBLE POSITION"
- How many admirals Kasatonovs on a white light, Igor Vladimirovich? Same names we do not take into account ...
- Yes, not so many of us. Three. Besides me, Vladimir Lvovich, Vice Admiral, Chief of Staff of the Pacific fleet. My nephew. But the main one, of course, was Vladimir Afanasevich, Hero of the Soviet Union, commander of the Baltic, Black Sea and Northern Fleets. My father...
We still have a grandfather to mention. He may not be an admiral, but a non-commissioned officer, but he is worth a monument. As a full George Knight. And Belenikhinsky secondary school in the Belgorod region, where his grandfather was from, bears his name. Athanasius Stepanovich Kasatonov received all four soldiers of the Cross on the First World War. He served in the reconnaissance of the Life Guards of the Uhlan regiment and succeeded in procuring the enemy "tongues."
- Awards are preserved?
- Unfortunately not. In the hungry thirties demolished in Torgsin, traded for food, but not redeemed back ...
Monument to the full Cavalier of St. Afanasy Stepanovich Kasatonov, the grandfather of our interlocutor, the founder of the marine dynasty. A photo:
My father came to the fleet at the age of seventeen, graduated from the Frunze School in Leningrad, was the navigator, the commander of the submarines U-112 and L-12 in the Far East, commanded the Shchuk division in the Pacific Fleet. In 1941, Alexander Kollontai called him to the post of naval attache of the USSR Embassy in Sweden, but his father refused, chose to remain in the ranks. When the war began, he already served as chief of staff of a separate submarine division of the Baltic Fleet. My mother and I were evacuated to the Urals, to the city of Irbit. Month went by rail. At first they settled in the lobby of the cinema, in which the film “Pig and Shepherd” was played from morning till night. The song "I will never forget a friend if I made friends with him in Moscow" performed by Vladimir Zeldin and Marina Ladynina stayed in my genes forever. He told the episode to Vladimir Mikhailovich, he laughed. We met not so long ago, at the age of ninety. He, Zeldin ... And then in Irbit after the cinema we were determined to wait for the fists. They hated the Soviet government, the master's son was in prison for an attempt to desertion, and here, then, the family of the red commander ... The attitude was appropriate. My sister and I were especially at odds with the kulak goat, butting it fiercely, endlessly striving to pry on the horns.
But it is so, childhood memories ...
1961 year The future admiral Igor Kasatonov masters the basics of the maritime profession. Photo: From the personal archive of Igor Kasatonov
- When did you first appear in Crimea?
- In 1955, Marshal Zhukov, then Minister of Defense, appointed his father commander of the Black Sea Fleet. With him and I got to Sevastopol, entered the Higher Naval School named after Nakhimov. In 1960, he graduated with honors in the specialty "rocket armament".
- The fact that his father commanded the fleet, helped successful learning?
- Interested in whether I was a thug? No one would dare to make excuses, and I would not use them. All on the general basis. He lived in the cockpit for a hundred people, layoffs - once a week, they didn't let me go home for the night on weekends ... I always studied well, I finished high school with a silver medal. By the way, we have four medalists in our family: I received a silver in Tallinn, a wife in Kiev, a daughter Tamara in Severomorsk, a son Kirill in Sevastopol ...
After school, I stayed to serve on the Black Sea, in 1961, I made a “Persistent” transition around Europe at the destroyer “Destroyer”, then by the Northern Sea Route to the base of the Pacific Fleet. They went three and a half months. From Vladivostok, I returned to Sevastopol, I was in combat duty in the Mediterranean Sea, I was following American aircraft carriers ... I reached the rank of rear admiral and the post of commander of the 30 division.
In 1982, he was transferred to Polyarny, was appointed the first commander of the just-created Kola Flotilla of diverse forces. Nine candidates claimed for this place; I had to withstand a serious competition. The economy got rather big: one and a half hundred ships, coastal missile regiments, aviation, twenty two thousand people ...
Sailors Kasatonovs. Admiral Igor Kasatonov and grandchildren of captain Alexander 1 (left) and Justice Colonel Kirill look at the fleet admiral Vladimir Afatasyevich Kasatonov from a portrait on his son. Photo: From the personal archive of Igor Kasatonov
- So they stayed in the North until the State Emergency Committee hit the ground?
- By that time, for three years already I was the first deputy commander of the Northern Fleet. And in September, 91-th headed the Red Banner Black Sea Fleet, replacing Mikhail Chronopulo.
- He was removed for what?
- Officially - for health reasons, in fact - for excessive zeal in carrying out orders of the coup. Yes, and Gorbachev did not forgive that the Black Sea people did not rush to rescue him from Foros. In a word, Chronopulo was removed, and he left ... in business. Engaged them actively. In my opinion, even too ...
- It seems that Mikhail Nikolayevich later became a restaurateur?
- Including ... The problem is different. After leaving the service, Chronopulo could do anything, this is his personal choice. It is much worse that he left the fleet in a semi-disassembled state. I returned to the Crimea after a ten-year absence and was amazed at how drastically the socio-political situation had changed. Today it is hard to believe, but the authority of the fleet in the eyes of the local population then fell very low. And where? In the Sevastopol! Suffice it to say that Chronopulo lost the election to the USSR Supreme Soviet. In 1989, they were held on an alternative basis; the commander’s opponent was the foreman of the local plant's mechanics, Victor Nozdrya, who could not really connect two words. However, on the protest wave, Nozdry became a deputy.
This is just one stroke characterizing the general atmosphere ...
- You after all submitted to the Supreme Commander Gorbachev?
- I have never met him personally in my life. Luckily. I do not want to talk about this person, because I have no good words for him, but I do not like to swear.
- Did you somehow hurt Mikhail Sergeyevich?
- Not me, but the army. And he did not hurt, but put him in a terrible position, when, after the collapse of the USSR, two and a half million military, seven districts, three strategic directions and three groups of troops turned out to be ... Everything was as nothing! And the Black Sea Fleet, which was based in the territory that declared the independence of Ukraine in August 91, could suffer the same fate.
Sevastopol fought for their city and fleet, as they could. Photo: TASS
"TAKEN RESPONSIBILITY ON ITSELF AND DECLARED THE BLACK SEA RUSSIAN FLEET"
- Where did Igor Vladimirovich begin by stepping in on the post?
- The fleet consisted of 833 ship, which served nearly a hundred thousand officers and sailors. I traveled all the objects and naval bases of the Black Sea Fleet. In addition to the Crimea, they were located in Izmail, Ochakovo, Odessa, Nikolaev, Poti, Batumi, Novorossiysk ... In October, the 91, on the antisubmarine cruiser "Moscow", went to the Mediterranean Sea, where the Navy 5 squadron was on duty. After returning to Sevastopol, flew to Kiev, introduced himself to Leonid Kravchuk. He then presided over the Verkhovna Rada, but was about to become the president of Ukraine.
- And how do you like Leonid Makarovich?
- It immediately became clear: we are completely different people. From education to life priorities and values. Both felt it. Kravchuk is an experienced official, a hardened politician, it took him a few minutes to understand: Kasatonov will not lie either under him personally or under Ukraine. I am Russian in the broad sense of the word. Born in Vladivostok, studied in Leningrad, lived in Moscow, served in the North. And my wife, Yulia Alexandrovna, is from the family of Russian sailors, the daughter of Rear Admiral Trofimov, who commanded the 8 Squadron of the Navy in the Indian Ocean ...
- So, Kravchuk did not offer you anything?
- He cautiously “probed”, and his deputy Ivy spoke bluntly, first through. Like, do not complicate, Admiral! We will settle the problems with Yeltsin, everything will be all right, the fleet will go to Ukraine, you will remain with your previous position ... In addition to me, the commanders of three districts - Kiev, Odessa and Prikarpatsky were treated. Offered not to focus on Moscow. "Why would you report there, carry out their orders?" I explained that people from all over the Soviet Union serve in our country; they did not swear allegiance to independent Ukraine and would run home. To this, Kravchuk replied: "Well, let them run ..." Leonid Makarovich was sure that everything he had planned would work out and he was greatly irritated by my objections. I saw a spark of malice in the eyes of Kravchuk.
The situation, in fact, looked strange. Moscow stubbornly remained silent, although both in the Ministry of Defense and in the General Staff they knew very well how the authorities of the independent government put pressure on us. Instead of a clear order, there were abstract words of support. Say, do not give up. And how to use this advice in practice, if you are provoked and blackmailed every day? Such uncertainty could not last long. Tired of repelling the attacks of the political leadership of Ukraine, the commanders of the districts, Colonel-General Chechevatov, Skokov and Morozov, wrote resignation reports and left for Moscow. Kiev was waiting for this. Generals from among the barricades that had gone over to the Ukrainian side were immediately appointed to the vacant posts. There were enough. In principle, I could follow the example of my colleagues, spit, turn around and fly to Russia. That would be the easiest solution. But to whom would I leave the fleet?
At some point I felt like a fish in an aquarium. Around the vacuum formed, rarefied space. Surrounding people watched my behavior from the outside, waited for what I would do. But I, after all, could not engage in amateur activities. I needed a team. If they had said clearly: “Do not take the oath of Ukraine,” I would know how to act. And then - neither yes nor no. Honestly, there was internal discomfort. Difficult psychological situation! To leave for Moscow, means, to leave the fleet to the mercy of fate, to agree to stand under the yellow-blue flag - to betray the Motherland ... Such is the problem.
Episode of the film Photo: kinopoisk.ru
- And what answer did you find on her?
- Yeltsin invented, sorry for bluntness, a completely unrealistic plan: the countries are sovereign, and the armed forces are united. Russia did not even have a minister of defense, his duties were assigned to the president. Ukraine quickly realized that this was complete nonsense, and announced the creation of its own independent army. Based on the very districts - Kiev, Odessa and Prikarpatsky. To complete the picture did not have the Black Sea Fleet. Cherry on the cake. Imagine? Ukraine gained the status of a maritime state! In September, 91, Leonid Kravchuk, appointed Konstantin Morozov as Minister of Defense. He commanded the 17-th Air Army of the Kiev Military District and bore the rank of major general. And then in an instant he became a colonel general and felt like a big boss! But I immediately made it clear that Sevastopol was too tough for him.
Kravchuk demanded that 3 January 1992-th Black Sea Fleet took the oath of Ukraine. Together with the entire group of former Soviet troops, numbering seven hundred thousand people. I did not do this, I burned the bridges, declaring the 4 of January to the Russian fleet and saying that we will obey the USSR Defense Minister Yevgeny Shaposhnikov and the commander of the Navy Vladimir Chernavin. Separately, he stressed that the Black Sea people are obliged to respect the laws of the state on whose territory they are located, and are ready to cooperate with the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine. But - without taking the oath. Of course, no one gave me permission to make such statements. I took responsibility for myself and said out loud what I thought. In form it was a rebellion. Absolutely unexpected for everyone, including Russia. The first about my demarche was the New York Times. Literally on the same day! In support, I received hundreds of telegrams from ordinary citizens, and from the leadership of the country - zero, no reaction.
But I understood that it was not only a refusal to swear to Ukraine. It was necessary to maintain the fleet in combat for a long time. Until a political decision is made. Therefore, I have drawn up a system plan.
- It turns out that you have met with Kravchuk more than once, but never with Yeltsin?
- Alas. In the 91 year, in the most difficult moment, I did not manage to reach the president of Russia. I called the Kremlin, asked to be connected with someone from those who were close to Boris Nikolayevich, but in response I heard only ridicule and mockery.
- Even so?
- Well, yes, the entourage of Yeltsin was not up to the problems of the Black Sea Fleet, people shared power! It got to the point that in December of the 91, the General Staff removed the KChF from all types of rations. Say, you are a cut-off chunk, you are based in Ukraine. Well, Army General Viktor Samsonov, the Chief of the General Staff, did not disconnect us from the single warning system, otherwise it would have been very bad.
Yevgeny Shaposhnikov helped a lot by organizing, finally, my meeting with Boris Yeltsin ...
- When did this happen?
- 29 January 1992 of the year. Almost a month after I declared insubordination to Ukraine.
28 January 1992 of the year. Novorossiysk. Talking about the future of the Black Sea Fleet (from left to right): Navy Commander Vladimir Chernavin, USSR Defense Minister Yevgeny Shaposhnikov, Russian President Boris Yeltsin and KChF Commander Igor Kasatonov on a cruiser Photo: TASS
"AFTER MY PERFORMANCE IN THE SUPREME RADA, IT'S ICEBACKING SILENT"
- And Kiev did not try to call you a rebel, to go to jail?
- I tried very hard! The deputy chief of staff of the armed forces of Ukraine, Georgy Zhivitsa, declared me persona non grata, the leader of Ruha, Vyacheslav Chornovil, at a closed meeting of the Security Council in Kiev, offered to take tough measures. Like, if you can’t persuade Kasatonov to cooperate, you need to compromise him, create unbearable conditions for life and work. But Leonid Kravchuk did not dare to go into direct confrontation with the fleet, tried to sneak me away. I was a bone in my throat!
- Has it reached real threats?
- How can I tell you? .. The chief of the General Staff of the Navy Konstantin Makarov called: "There is information that an assassination attempt is taking place on you, Igor. Consider and look around." The commander of the Baltic Group of Forces, Valery Mironov, warned that they were allegedly going to kidnap me ...
And such signals were received several times.
- Is the security enhanced?
- Next to me were two ensigns, Marines. If I traveled from Sevastopol, I took an extra car with machine gunners. The situation was not easy to say.
In Poti, for example, in broad daylight, local dzhigits attacked the headquarters of the naval brigade, laid a shift on the floor, and opened armory room and began to take out machine guns and pistols. At this time, the brigade commander and the political commander were returning from lunch and saw the "oil painting". Alexander Tsubin, the commander, was not at a loss, grabbed a service weapon and opened fire to defeat. He killed one, the second, wounded two more, the others threw bags and fled. But the brigade commander got a bullet. And the political officer, as he stood in a daze, remained. At night, we evacuated Alexander Sergeyevich to the hospital in Sevastopol. Soviet orders have already been canceled, new ones have not yet been invented, so I awarded Tsubin money. Issued a thousand rubles to restore health. A decent amount for those times! Only three years later, the brigade commander received the Order of Courage.
And in the Crimea, "joys" enough. The Sevastopol city council was the first to raise the Ukrainian flag on the peninsula, the local KGB administration passed to Kiev, became known as the Security Service of Ukraine Security Service, and began to work against me, decomposing the fleet from the inside, recruiting officers and sailors, compiling oaths in the second circle ... I understood that it was impossible to wait, because in case of delay the principle of a chain reaction could work: a stone rolled, and behind it an avalanche ...
9 January 1992, I was summoned to a meeting of the Verkhovna Rada. Of course, I did not hide and flew to Kiev. After my performance in the plenary hall there was a chilling silence. Chilling!
1992 year. Igor Kasatonov, commander of the Red Banner Black Sea Fleet, on the day of the Navy receives a parade in his native Sevastopol. Photo: RIA News ria.ru
- In the cold sweat did not throw you?
- Why be afraid? I knew that there was power and truth behind me. He spoke calmly, confidently. Still, I have a solid command experience, I have been trained in communication with any audience. I said that the fleet would retain the status quo until a political decision was made at the level of the presidents of the two countries - Russia and Ukraine, recalled that we have representatives of 46 nationalities, that there are only nineteen percent Ukrainians among officers and about thirty among sailors and foremen. I said from the rostrum of the Council that I consider the demand to take the oath of another state to be criminal.
Of course, my words could not make Kravchuk happy, but he found the strength to say that he still respects me, although he does not share the position.
They wrote about my speech in newspapers, including Russian ones. Then Yeltsin, apparently, woke up, realizing that it was possible to return the fleet he actually presented to Ukraine.
True, at the All-Army Conference held on January 17 in Moscow, our meeting did not take place. Boris Nikolayevich stayed there for a short time and left. Leonid Kravchuk chose to skip the event altogether. And they gave me the floor. I wrote a speech, as they say, in a single breath in the parental apartment on the Sivtsev Vrazhka. I decided that I would talk about how passion and excitement are being aggravated around the Black Sea Fleet. As he walked to the podium, in the hall there was an incessant applause. The officers knew about my refusal to take the Ukrainian oath. For example, I talked about the Kocheshkin twins. Mother is Ukrainian, father is Russian, both brothers are colonels, brigade of marines. Only one served on the Black Sea Fleet, and the second - on the Baltic Sea. "And how do you order to divide this family?" - I asked, referring to the presidium.
After the meeting, its participants approached me, thanked, expressed support, but everyone sounded one question: what next? If I knew the answer ...
We met with the President of Russia 28 January on the anti-submarine cruiser Moskva, which had specially arrived in Novorossiysk the day before. I discussed the visit with the commander of the Navy Chernavin in my office in Sevastopol four days earlier. They did this in writing, passing each other a workbook. I was not sure that there was no recording equipment in the room, and we were not overheard ...
Boris Nikolayevich flew aboard the Moskva RCC by helicopter. There were no guard of honor and orchestras, which emphasized the working, businesslike character of the visit. True, on the top we raised the Russian flag. In honor of the head of state. We talked for a long time, about six hours, I gave a detailed account of the situation, drove a pointer on the maps, as in a geography lesson, explained why we need a fleet and why we should not leave Sevastopol. Did the generations of Russian sailors shed their blood, then to give everything away like that? The president nodded to my words, but didn’t seem to particularly understand it. Or did not really understand what it was about. At least, when Yeltsin answered the questions of officers and sailors, he constantly squinted in the direction of Shaposhnikov and Chernavin, as if seeking their support. However, I received the approval of the highest political leadership of the country, and in that situation even such smallness was enough for our actions to gain legitimacy. Before leaving the board of "Moscow", Boris Nikolayevich left an entry in the book of honorable visitors: "Chernomorets! Do not flinch at a difficult time in the CIS! I will support! President Yeltsin."
And the head of Ukraine reacted differently. Learning about our meeting, Leonid Kravchuk on January 31 demanded that I be removed from the post of Commander of the Russian Football Federation. The formal reason for this was my refusal to accept a group of deputies of the Verkhovna Rada, who arrived in Sevastopol without an invitation. Allegedly, I kept the deputies in the cold wind for an hour and a half. But I did not wait for the guests from Kiev that day, was engaged in the planned affairs, and I assigned the delegation to meet my deputy. Kravchuk sent telegrams addressed to Yeltsin, Shaposhnikov and Chernavin. Of course, this surge of emotions did not receive any development.
6 February 1992, the Supreme Soviet of Russia adopted a resolution on the need to maintain a single fleet on the Black Sea, and in April a new aggravation occurred, a battle of bills began. Kravchuk issued a decree on the jurisdiction of the Black Sea Fleet of Ukraine, Yeltsin did not keep himself waiting, and responded by law on the status of the Russian Black Sea Fleet. Political rope pulling! They just tried to draw the military into it with weapons in their hands. Dangerous jokes! Alexander Rutskoi, the then vice-president of Russia, advised me: "Cut the ends and take the ships to Novorossiysk!" But supporters of the Square only dreamed that they should get Sevastopol!
I didn’t even raise the St. Andrew’s flags. Without the knowledge of the President of Russia and the necessary legal framework, this would be populism. Probably not everyone remembers this today, but for five years the Black Sea Fleet went under the former Soviet flag. With a red star, sickle and hammer! Only in 1997-m on our ships appeared the blue and white Andrew's banner, and in Ukrainian - the ensign of Hetman Skoropadsky's era ...
- This is without you, Igor Vladimirovich, at that moment you already served in Moscow.
- Yes, but if we lost in 92, after five years there would be nothing to raise flags. Then I did not give Ukraine anything - neither a cruiser, nor a boat. Although Moscow’s indecisiveness was not in vain, at some point fermentation began among the officers and sailors. Like, if Russia is not needed, why bother? We must agree to the proposal of Ukraine. The pendulum swung. The unofficial channels received disturbing information from the parts, I personally phoned the main connections, figuring out the situation. And I heard this: in the 126 th division of the coast guard in Simferopol, most of the personnel agreed to take the Ukrainian oath, a similar picture was observed in the 63 th brigade of repairing ships, in the 39 th division of amphibious assault forces ...
I remember a brigade commander calls and reports that the flag was raised on the minesweeper. I answer: "Well, and what words are you waiting for? What will I praise for pogluzhu's head? Set order in the brigade!" An hour later, he called back: "Comrade Commander, everything is done. In a fist fight, the victory was ours ..." This is a different conversation, I understand that! On the cruiser "Kutuzov" as a senior officer on a general construction, he also raised a yellow-blakitny prapor. And there was not without battering. How else? There was no choice. In Donuzlav, the anti-submarine brigade headed by the commanders took the Ukrainian oath, seven officers from the school of divers went over to Kiev. I later removed them from their posts. Carefully, one by one. He came up with a court of honor, where they gave a proper assessment of the behavior of traitors, including among admirals. Unfortunately, there were such cases ...
In the summer of 92, while I was on a business trip, the commandant's office in Sevastopol was seized by order of the Minister of Defense of Ukraine. My lieutenant missed, missed the moment. I returned to the city and set an ultimatum: either the Ukrainian military voluntarily vacates the premises, or we go to the assault. Those sitting inside did not believe in the seriousness of intentions, they thought I was joking. I took half the mouth of the marines and freed the building by force. Kicked out all entrenched there!
Youth of Sevastopol. Photo: Yevgeny Gusev /
"I was decided to remove from SEVASTOPOL from sin Sdald"
- But why you?
- So I understood my duty. Already explained to you: the simplest solution would be my departure to Russia in the autumn of 91. I am sure no one would dare to blame the fact that he threw the fleet. But you can't fool your conscience ...
- In fact, you are on a personal initiative organized the defense of Sevastopol?
- It happened. Someone should have been. It can be said, this is the third defense, if you count 1854 of the year from the Crimean War ...
The attacks came from different directions, I was constantly waiting for a trick. Let's say Kiev tried to take the fleet through conscripts. Recruits from Russia were not allowed on the peninsula, but the lads from Western Ukraine were carried by trains. In order to maintain parity, I ordered to deliver more than five thousand of our draftees on warships from Novorossiysk. Like during the war. In Sevastopol, the guys met a company of marines. And with the songs they went into parts.
Of the eleven thousand recruits who got to the Crimea in the summer of 92, almost half were from Russia.
But dumb defense is not my tactic. I received the blessing of Patriarch Alexy II, so that the fleet would continue to remain Russian. He initiated the adoption by the Crimean Parliament of the Act on State Independence of the Republic of Crimea. Deputies voted for the decision by a majority vote. If Moscow had put a little pressure on it, demonstrating the political will, the Crimea could have left Russia in 92.
This did not happen; the swings went back and forth until 3 in August, Presidents Yeltsin and Kravchuk, signed an agreement on the principles of the formation of the Ukrainian Navy and the Russian Navy based on the Black Sea Fleet of the USSR in Massandra. It was a political decision at the level of the heads of two countries, which I spoke about at my own risk in January in the Verkhovna Rada. We returned to the normal legal field. For a period of three years, a transitional period was established: a call for service in equal proportion - 50 on 50, the oath to the state, whose citizens are conscripts, the joint use of the existing system of basing and logistical support ... A pause was also needed to figure out ships, ports and other infrastructure to give Kiev ...
- Remember the anecdote: "How will we divide? Equally or fraternally?"
- The Ukrainians received one hundred thirty-eight ships and vessels, most of which were then cut to metal. Among other things, they departed and the almost completed missile cruiser Admiral Lobov. It was first renamed "Galicia", then - "Ukraine", which, however, did not change the essence of the matter. The cruiser was stuck tightly against the plant wall in Nikolaev, and the "Moscow" of the same type with it, having gone through a major overhaul, became the flagship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet. Most recently, in September of this year, Kiev announced its desire, sorry for the ambiguity, to sell "Ukraine". I do not know if there is a buyer for stale goods ...
- Did you participate in the fleet section?
- Of course no. And who would call? September 26 1992 I was appointed First Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy. It seems to be a boost, but I understood: this is a kind of compromise. Kiev was still spluttering at the mention of my name, and Moscow decided to remove me from Sevastopol away from sin. Indeed, under the Yalta Agreement, the joint command was determined by consensus of the presidents of the two countries. To Kravchuk supported my candidacy? No way in life! The position of commander remained vacant for more than three months, until, after long approvals, Vice Admiral Edward Baltin was approved. Honored sailor, Hero of the Soviet Union ... He, too, then drank from the Ukrainian nationalists.
- How did they escort you from Sevastopol, Igor Vladimirovich?
- Very warm. And the Black Sea, and the public. In a little over a year I managed to ensure that people again began to treat the fleet and sailors with the same respect and trust.
- What was your feeling at parting?
- Mixed. I was not given such a task, but as a man the military himself defined it and carried it out: he saved the fleet for Russia, did not surrender Sevastopol. While remaining commander, we have not lost a single object. It was only later that the Ukrainian special forces stormed to take our bases in Odessa, Izmail and Ochakov ... I would not allow that to happen.
And yet: in the Crimea, the Russian beginning was preserved, I tried to maintain it for twenty-three years, not letting it weaken. I think, and therefore in the spring of 2014, Crimeans, without hesitation, made a decision to reunite with Russia.
While flying to Moscow to 92, I freed up a service apartment in Sevastopol, in order not to give rise to unnecessary conversations, but I did not interrupt communication with the city, created a freelance information and analytical group. It is still functioning. These are my friends, volunteers from among the patriots of Russia. We are in constant contact, I am always aware of the events taking place there. I was also invited to the General Staff of Russia in 2009 for the position of advisor, in order to work on Sevastopol. This is what I do.
- Also, I know, recently participated in the launching of the frigate "Admiral of the fleet of Kasaton".
- Yes, he was named after his father. Thank. But there is still a lot of work to be done on the ship so that it can be put into operation. I hope we will live ...