A high-ranking military official yesterday denied Russian media reports that general staff chief and acting Russian defense minister Army General Mikhail Kolesnikov had resigned from either or both of his posts. The same source suggested that Kolesnikov had been caught unawares by the dismissal June 25 of seven top Russian generals, including three of Kolesnikov’s own general staff deputy chiefs. Military sources reported also that Kolesnikov had met on the evening of June 25 with the departing officers and had ordered that their duties be passed on to their first deputy chiefs. (Interfax, June 26)
In a related development, Russian Security Council secretary Aleksandr Lebed confirmed in an account published yesterday by Moskovskie novosti that he would like to appoint as defense minister Col. General Igor Rodionov, currently head of the General Staff Academy. But defense ministry sources suggested that president Boris Yeltsin considers it inexpedient to appoint a new minister at the present time, and that any announcement will probably not occur until after the July 3 election. (Interfax, June 26)
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