Russia has new military staff chief

Nov. 9, 2012 at 9:50 AM

MOSCOW, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin named Col. Gen. Valery Gerasimov to head the armed forces General Staff after firing Gen. Nikolai Makarov, officials said.

The move Friday came three days after Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov was dismissed during a corruption investigation, RIA Novosti reported.

Serdyukov was replaced by Sergei Shoigu, who then nominated Gerasimov to be chief of the General Staff.

Gerasimov had been named commander of forces in the Central Military District in April.

The corruption charges against Serdyukov were seen as a pretext for getting rid of him, The New York Times reported. He had made deep cuts in the ranks of officers, alienating many in the military.

In approving Gerasimov, Putin told him he would have to calm tensions with defense manufacturers caused by frequent changes in orders.

Putin told the general he was counting on him to "establish stable, good collegial work" with military contractors.

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
Chelsea Clinton accidentally calls Bernie 'President Sanders'
Watch every star-studded Super Bowl commercial of 2016
Susan Sarandon responds to Piers Morgan criticizing cleavage
Two Virginia Tech students plotted 13-year-old's death, prosecutors said
Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice got classified email on private accounts