Russia's Black Sea naval fleet defiant over constitutional amendments vote
Reports are coming about the Sevastopol-based Black Sea naval fleet showing teeth amid the ongoing vote for Russian constitutional amendments that would allow Vladimir Putin to retain power, resetting the count of his presidential terms.
Reports seem plausible as even the avid pro-"Russian spring" commentators are voicing alarm across social networks over the defiant position of Russian sailors – something that is also being confirmed by local residents who engage in comments, Crimea News wrote.
Alexey Protsko, a Sevastopol-based blogger with staunch pro-Russian views, who has been widely covering the city life, actively rooted for Constitutional amendments, promoting among his audience the idea of supporting them.
At the same time, he posted what he says is "insider information" on the preliminary results of the voting at the Black Sea Fleet: "Yesterday came reports that 90% of the Black Sea Fleet voted against the amendments."
As UNIAN reported earlier, more than two dozen crew of the Russian Black Sea naval fleet's Project 22160 large patrol ship Vasily Bykov who voted against the constitutional amendments that would reset the count of Vladimir Putin's presidential terms say their commanders threaten to have them dismissed from service if they don't change their vote or rig the results.
These developments spark the crisis and deepen the conflict within the naval fleet, Crimea Info reports.
What's troubling for the Kremlin is that the fleet command is not in control of the situation, failing to secure the required number of votes "for" the amendments. And this means that the command could be deemed as "unreliable."
Blogger Protsko posted another piece of insider information, allegedly obtained from the navymen: "The Black Sea Fleet Commander is about to be removed from his post."
At the same time, local residents in the comment section to his post suggest that by taking such stance, the navymen express their attitude to issues of monetary allowance and the system of bonus accrual, while commanders may be showing their attitude on a number of internal naval showdowns and redistribution of power and resources.