In yet another demonstration of Aleksandr Lebed’s growing influence within the Kremlin, President Boris Yeltsin yesterday fired seven top Russian generals and replaced two deputy heads of the nation’s powerful Security Council. Although Lebed had seemed June 21 to back off of his sensational June 18 allegations that military leaders had plotted against the president, four of the generals dismissed yesterday were among those originally named by Lebed as "co-conspirators." All seven are believed to be connected in one way or another to former Russian defense minister Pavel Grachev, who was himself sacked June 18.
Four of those dismissed — Col. Generals Viktor Barynkin, Anatoly Bogdanov, Vyacheslav Zherebtsov, and Dmitri Kharchenko — occupied key posts in Russia’s General Staff. The Defense Ministry’s Lt. General Sergei Zdorikov and Col. General Valeri Lapshov were also fired, as was deputy commander-in-chief of Russia’s ground forces, Lt. General Vladimir Shulikov. (Interfax, Reuter, June 25)
Lebed further strengthened his position within Russia’s defense establishment by virtue of his appointment yesterday as chairman of a commission making recommendations on top defense appointments and promotions. The new chief of Yeltsin’s personal security service, Yuri Krapivin, was also named to that commission. Lebed replaced former Yeltsin security advisor Yuri Baturin on the commission, while Krapivin succeeded long-time Yeltsin loyalist Aleksandr Korzhakov. (Itar-Tass, June 25)
Security Council to be Strengthened.