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Yeltsin Sacks Top Generals

Moscow, June 25 (RFE/RL) -- Russian President Boris Yeltsin has sacked a group of top army generals, numbering at least seven. The generals were close to former Defense Minister Pavel Grachev, who was dismissed a week ago.

Four of the dismissed generals, listed by the presidential press service today, were named by new Security Chief Alexander Lebed as plotting to put pressure on Yeltsin, even suggesting they were plotting a coup. Lebed later backed away from the coup theory.

Those sacked include first deputy head of the General Staff Viktor Barynkin, deputy commander of the Land Forces Vladimir Shulikov and head of the defense minister's personal staff Valery Lapshov. Also sacked was Dmitry Kharchenko, head of the international department of the General Staff.

The presidential press service did not give any reason for the dismissals which were effective immediately.