Six Russian Generals Dismissed
MOSCOW (AP) _ President Vladimir Putin dismissed six generals from their positions in the Defense Ministry, a Kremlin spokeswoman said.
A defense analyst said the generals controlled logistics and procurement and were several steps removed from top command positions but may have been ousted in connection with a feud between top commanders.
One of the officers dismissed, Gen. Anatoly Sitnov, had recently criticized the government for spending too little on new weaponry and said Russia’s conventional forces will fall hopelessly behind other armies within 10 years, the RTR television station reported.
Two of the generals had passed pension age while four others, including Sitnov, the ministry’s acting head of armaments, were promised new jobs in the Defense Ministry, the spokeswoman said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The six all held their positions on an acting basis and had offered their resignations when Putin was inaugurated in May, the spokeswoman said.
In a rare public dispute, Russia’s military leadership is split over whether the country should concentrate its limited resources on nuclear or conventional weapons.
``Their dismissal can be seen as an indication of the tensions and disagreements simmering (in the Defense Ministry),″ said Pavel Felgenhauer, an independent defense analyst in Moscow.
Also dismissed Monday were the chief of the Defense Ministry’s press service, Maj. Gen. Anatoly Shatalov; head of the rocket and artillery directorate, Gen. Nikolai Karaulov; and chief of the military’s foreign economic relations Lt. Gen. Alexander Zobnin.
The chief of biological, chemical and radiation defense, Col. Gen. Stanislav Petrov and anti-aircraft forces Col. Gen. Boris Dukhov had both surpassed retirement age, the spokeswoman said.