BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Russian Polish Albanian Greek Czech Ukrainian Serbian Turkish Romanian
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
    You are in: Europe  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
 Wednesday, 18 December, 2002, 20:05 GMT
Top Russian general sacked
Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov (L) and President Vladimir Putin
President Putin has shown his support for Mr Ivanov
Russia's President Vladimir Putin has sacked the head of army operations in Chechnya, Gennady Troshev.

General Troshev has publicly refused to take up a new position - command of the Siberian military district.

General Troshev gave an effective ultimatum to Mr Putin: sack me, or sack Mr Ivanov

Stephen Dalziel, BBC analyst
He also criticised Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov for offering him the new job.

According to the ministry spokesman, Mr Putin "highly praised" General Troshev but considered his public remarks about the decisions taken by high command "inappropriate".

Charismatic figure

The military district commanders in Russia are rotated every few years and General Troshev was due to move to Siberia next spring.

General Gennady Troshev
Sacking general Troshev strengthened Putin's position
The Chechnya post is considered a trampoline for a military career and most of General Troshev's predecessors were promoted into the army's high command.

A native of the Chechen capital Grozny, General Troshev was popular among troops and is said to be a charismatic figure.

But the BBC's Russian affairs analyst Stephen Dalziel says General Troshev gave an effective ultimatum to Mr Putin: sack me, or sack Mr Ivanov for trying to undermine what the army is doing in Chechnya.

The President has been criticised in recent months for taking too soft a line with the army.

Reforms needed

Our correspondent says that attempts at much-needed military reform have been little more than cosmetic.

A project to turn Russia's army into a fully professional force by 2010 had to be shelved because of the strong resistance from the military.

Some analysts suggested that Mr Putin was too unsure of his position in relation to the generals to tackle them head on.

By sacking General Troshev, Mr Putin has shown that Mr Ivanov has his support.

Checkpoint abuses

The defence minister had been repeatedly criticised for failing to impose his will - particularly on senior officers serving in Chechnya.
Refugee at checkpoint in Chechnya
Russia admitted that Chechens were abused by soldiers at checkpoints

In a rare public acknowledgement of abuses in the breakaway republic, Russian Interior Minister Boris Gryzlov has denounced violations committed by Russian troops in Chechnya.

Mr Gryzlov accepted there were numerous cases of abuse by Russian troops at checkpoints, including extortion, abduction and even murder.

Earlier, the lower house of the parliament, Duma, urged President Putin to introduce a state of emergency in Chechnya to help protect the rights of the civilian population and strengthen civilian control over the actions of Russian troops in Chechnya.

  WATCH/LISTEN
  ON THIS STORY
  The BBC's Nikolai Gorshkov in Moscow
"It looks like Moscow is now turning towards a political solution"
See also:

01 Sep 02 | Europe
29 Oct 02 | Europe
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Europe stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Europe stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes