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Reshuffle of Military Top Brass in Chechnya

: Gazeta.Ru - Combined Report  

On Thursday two significant changes were made to the military command in Chechnya operation. Chief of the military commandant of the Republic General Ivan Babichev was replaced by the General-Major Sergei Kizyun, and the acting commander of the North Caucasian unified military group Lieutenant-General Vladimir Moltenskoi ceded his post to Colonel-General Valery Baranov, who returned from his leave.

The military report that henceforth Vladimir Moltenskoi will continue his work as deputy commander of the North Caucasian military district in charge of emergency situations. And soon it will be his turn to take leave.

Despite the infamous clean up operations in Chechnya a month ago, Russian defense minister Sergei Ivanov said the military leadership had no complaints about Moltenskois performance during Baranovs absence.

Ivan Babichevs dismissal from the post of chief military commandant of Chechnya did not come as surprise. Earlier this summer in an interview published by a major Russian daily, Chechen premier Stanislav Ilyasov predicted that Babichev would, most likely, leave his post.

Ilyasov said the commandant had been away from the Republic for a long time because of serious illness. On the other hand, sources in the military in Chechnya say that Babichev will shortly be promoted.

Observers say that Ilyasov will only benefit from Babichevs exit. It is no secret that the two have failed to work together in a team. Ilyasov many times complained that the commandants office hampered the restoration process in the Republic and had proved incapable of introducing order at the checkpoints in the republic.

The prime minister of the Chechen government has even drafted a decree on the commandants office in Chechnya, with a clause providing that a chief military commandant should at the same time be a vice premier in the Chechen government, which means that his candidacy would require the premiers approval. President Putin has not yet signed the decree.

General Babichev will be replaced by the General-Major Sergei Kizyun. Kizyun had already served in Chechnya's chief military commandant's office. On 21 June president Putin appointed Kizyun head of staff of the 20th army, stationed in Voronezh.

03 17:40


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