Medvedev names new chief of Russian General Staff
Russia's new President Dmitry Medvedev appointed Deputy Defence Minister Nikolai Makarov the new chief of the General Staff for Russia's Armed Forces, the Kremlin said Tuesday, reported dpa.
Makarov, 58, will replace embattled General Yuri Baluyevsky who has held the post and that of first deputy defence minister since 2004.
The replacement comes after months of rumours that Baluyevsky would resign over his vehement opposition to Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov's plans for reforming the armed forces and army staff reshuffles.
But Baluyevsky and the Kremlin denied reports he had submitted his resignation when the story hit the newspapers in March.
At the time, newspaper reports cited as proof of Baluyevsky's imminent retirement his passing over for key posts in Russia's military-industrial complex.
Makarov became the defence ministry's representative to the board of the state-owned Tactical Missile Armaments Corporation, a job that Baluyevsky had been tipped for having worked there for many years, news agency Ria-Novosti reported.