Russia may soon reshuffle top military brass

Russia may soon change its top military commanders as the result of a major military leadership reshuffle, a high-ranking Defense Ministry source said on Friday.

Russia may soon reshuffle top military brass
According to the source, one of the most high-profile figures in the shake-up will be Chief of the Russian General Staff Gen.Yury Baluyevsky, who could leave his post as early as May. He is likely to be replaced by one of his deputies.

"We are expecting that Baluyevsky's first deputy, Lt. Gen. Alexander Burutin will be appointed new Chief of the General Staff," the source said.

Baluyevsky, 61, has occupied his current post since July 2004. In December last year, his term of service was extended for another three years.

Experts believe that the new reshuffle is the result of a long-running conflict with the Ministry of Defense, which intensified after the appointment of Anatoly Serdyukov as defense minister.

The Defense Ministry declined to comment on the possibility of Baluyevsky's retirement, but confirmed that the army chief was currently on a planned vacation.

Baluyevsky did not attend the talks on the U.S. missile shield planned for Poland and the Czech Republic with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates held in Moscow on March 18.

Unconfirmed rumors in the Russian media say Baluyevsky submitted his resignation three weeks ago.

RIA Novosti

Last Mod: 21 Mart 2008, 16:22
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