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18 May


How the fight against the spread of coronavirus on board the nuclear submarine Karelia ended

The cruiser is considered exemplary in the Northern Fleet

Photo: TASS

/NOVOSTIVL/ The scandalous incident occurred during the coronavirus pandemic on the strategic nuclear-powered missile submarine Karelia. The deputy commander for military-political work of the cruiser received incomplete official compliance for drinking alcohol on board, insulting a subordinate and his pregnant wife. In turn, the political commander, claiming that he was only fighting the infection, reached the military court of cassation, but lost his case.

As follows from the court decisions published by the state automated system "Justice", the incident took place on a submarine - military unit 20404-2. Under this number in open sources, the strategic missile carrier Karelia is listed.

On July 14, 2020, there was a conflict on board between the servicemen, the proceedings of which were conducted by the submarine commander, Captain 1st Rank Anton Maslennikov. From the explanations that the commander gave later to the court, it followed that he found one of the participants in the skirmish, political commander of the 2nd rank captain Konstantin Frolkin, in his cabin. He was "in upset feelings", and he had clear signs of alcohol intoxication: redness of the skin and eyes, as well as the smell of alcohol from the mouth. According to the commander, the deputy confessed to him that he drank alcohol, had a fight with the midshipman, and then continued to drink. According to the commander, the cause of the conflict, during which the political commander actively used obscene language, was also due to vodka. And not only the midshipman got it, but also his pregnant wife.

The latter, in the absence of her husband, who was locked in quarantine together with the crew on the submarine, could not in any way arrange the extension of the contract on social rent of housing with the administration of the ZATO Aleksandrovsk (Murmansk region). Upon learning of this, the midshipman decided to contact the political officer, but found him barely able to stand in the medical room. According to the victim, having actually sent him, the captain of the 2nd rank proceeded to the central post, from where, without hesitation in expressions both to the midshipman and his wife, he repeated what was said earlier over the speakerphone. The meaning of the expressions, according to eyewitnesses, boiled down to the fact that the subordinate himself must solve his problems. After that, the midshipman went to the central post to talk to the commander, but he was stopped in time.

Nevertheless, the submarine commander was reported about the incident, and following the results of the analysis on his part, the deputy political officer Frolkin was declared incomplete. The latter categorically disagreed with the penalty imposed on him, appealing to the Hajiyev garrison military court. The captain of the 2nd rank, despite the testimony of numerous witnesses, claimed that there was no conflict, and that he did not use strong words, like drinks.

When eyewitnesses confirmed that he was swearing at almost the entire submarine, the political commander replied that "he used obscene language without intent to offend anyone." According to the military, he used alcohol from the bottles found in his cabin during the coronavirus pandemic to disinfect his hands, objects and the room itself. Since the cabin was small, everything in it was saturated with the smell of vodka, the political commander argued.

In addition, he noted, the commander of the submarine cruiser does not have any objective evidence of his drunkenness. The latter confirmed that he did not send the officer for a medical examination, since he did not have such an opportunity, since “the crew was on isolation” as part of an event due to the spread of coronavirus. In addition, it turned out that the protocol on a gross disciplinary offense by the captain of the 2nd rank Frolkin was also not drawn up. Its commander explained this by the fact that the political officer Frolkin was held accountable not for a specific incident, but for violation of the general rules and duties of servicemen. The commander considered the severity of the punishment commensurate with the offense committed by the officer, who was called upon to be an example for his subordinates.

In the garrison court, the captain of the 2nd rank Frolkin lost the case, but after that he turned to the appellate instance - the Northern Naval Military Court. Moreover, his demands were supported by the military prosecutor, who insisted on canceling the order of the Karelia commander. However, the court ruled that the protest of the supervisory authority and other circumstances did not affect "the correctness of the decision taken in this case." The military court of cassation took a similar position.

The Karelia submarine, armed with Sineva ballistic missiles, entered the Navy in October 1989. In 1994, his crew was the first to plant the Andreevsky and Russian flags at the North Pole. The cruiser is considered exemplary in the Northern Fleet.