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Russia's Prosecutor-General Defends Shake-Up

Yury Chaika during his confirmation last month (ITAR-TASS) July 7 2006 -- Russian Prosecutor-General Yury Chaika said today that his decision to replace several deputies earlier this week should not be regarded as "a revolution," Interfax reported.

Chaika added that it is natural for him to want to form his own team.

The former justice minister was named last month by President Vladimir Putin to replace Vladimir Ustinov.

On July 5, Chaika dismissed Chief Military Prosecutor Aleksandr Savenkov, First Deputy Prosecutor-General Yury Biryukov, and deputy prosecutor-generals Vladimir Kolesnikov, Nikolai Shepel, Anatoly Bondar, and Valentin Simuchenkov, according to Interfax on July 5 and "The Moscow Times" on July 6.

The Federation Council endorsed those dismissals today.

On July 5, Chaika also submitted to the Federation Council his proposed nominations to the vacant positions: Deputy Prosecutor-General Sergei Fridinsky as chief military prosecutor, Aleksandr Buksman as first deputy prosecutor-general, and Ivan Sydoryuk, Krasnoyarsk Krai Prosecutor Viktor Grin, Viktor Gulyagin, and Buryatia Prosecutor Ivan Semchishin as deputy prosecutors.

On June 27, Interfax reported that all 13 deputy prosecutors submitted their resignations to Chaika during his first day in office.

(Interfax, "The Moscow Times")

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