Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 124

Turkmenistan’s Ground Forces commander, Lt. Gen. Rinat Mereddurdyev, and the Defense Ministry’s training department chief, Lt. Gen. Serdar Charypov, have been demoted to the rank of Colonel and dismissed from active service by decree of president Saparmurad Niazov for "serious shortcomings in their work" and "misuse of rank." Addressing a conference of the armed forces’ senior staff on June 23, Niazov decried "corruption and negligence" in the upper ranks, appointments and promotions unjustified by performance, poor discipline in the units, inadequate work with the pre-draft age youth, and widespread draft evasion. The president demanded that the Defense Ministry "change its work style" and "get rid of irresponsible and unqualified personnel." (Russian agencies, June 24) The last remark would appear to suggest that more changes of senior staff can be expected. This is not the first time that Niazov has been critical of the situation in the military, but it is his most vehement criticism to date.

Russians Bristle Over U.S.-Kazak Environmental Survey.