Friday, November 9, 2012

Big army reshuffle: Head of the General Staff replaced

(From right) Russian President Vladimir Putin, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Colonel-General Valery Gerasimov nominated for the post of Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces meet in the Kremlin, November 9, 2012 (RIA Novosti / Alexsey Druginyn)

Source: Russia Today

President Vladimir Putin has appointed Colonel General Valery Gerasimov to be the new Chief of the General Staff, replacing the resigned Nikolay Makarov.

Makarov handed in his resignation after the Defense Minister Anatoly Seryukov was sacked earlier this week over a property scandal involving the ministry.

Russia's newly-appointed Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu nominated 57-year old Colonel General Gerasimov who has been commander of the Central Military District to take over the top post.

“He is a military man from head to toe, a man who has served for a long time in the Armed Forces and is respected there. He has enormous experience of work both in the General Staff and on the battlefield," Shoigu said at a meeting with President and Commander-in-Chief Putin.

Under the decree signed by the President, from now on Gerasimov is also Russia’s First deputy Defense Minister.

Straight to business, Putin outlined tasks for the new head of the General Staff: to build stable partnership with leading defense industry plants, to continue rearmament of the Army and Fleet and to improve the structure and command of troops.

Gerasimov is known to be a critic of the reforms pushed through by Serdyukov which were unpopular among the Russian military.

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