Former Soviet military commander dies

Aug. 31, 2012 at 1:43 PM

MOSCOW, Aug. 31 (UPI) -- Sergei Sokolov, a former Soviet defense minister under Mikhail Gorbachev, died Friday, a Russian official said. He was 101.

Sokolov was in charge of the Soviet military until an embarrassing incident where a West German pilot flew over Soviet air space undetected and landed the plane in Moscow's Red Square. His tenure ran from 1984 to 1987.

Sokolov is the longest-living former commander of Soviet Union forces and a government agency said he will be listed in the Book of Russian Records for his longevity, ITAR-Tass reported.

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