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Russia: Yeltsin Names New Defense Minister

Moscow, 23 May 1997 (RFE/RL) -- Russian President Boris Yeltsin signed a decree today confirming General Igor Sergeyev as Russia's new Defense Minister in a push to reform the armed forces. Yeltsin also named General Anatoly Kvashnin as acting Head of the General Staff.

Yeltsin later held talks with both men. A Kremlin statement said discussions focused on the future of military reforms.

General Sergeyev was formerly Russia's chief of startegic missile forces. General Kvashnin was the head of the North Caucasus military district. Yesterday, Yeltsin fired both Defense Minister Igor Rodionov and General Staff chief Viktor Samsonov, saying they had failed to implement needed reforms.