Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 173

A group of seven top Russian generals, dismissed from their posts more than two months ago on the strength of criminal allegations leveled against them by Aleksandr Lebed, may soon be returning to the Defense Ministry and General Staff. According to an unnamed military source, Russia’s Military Prosecutor’s office was unable to substantiate Lebed’s charges that the seven were implicated in a plot aimed at reversing Russian president Boris Yeltsin’s June 18 sacking of then defense minister Pavel Grachev. (Interfax, September 16) The dismissal of the seven, several of whom were close associates of Grachev, was interpreted at the time as the opening salvo in what would be a broader purge of those top military leaders loyal to the disgraced former defense minister. The dismissals also reflected the considerable power wielded by Lebed in the days that followed immediately upon his entry into the Yeltsin government. Lebed had demanded Grachev’s ouster as a condition for joining Yeltsin’s election team.

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