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Russia: Yeltsin Dismisses General

Moscow, 20 May 1997 (RFE/RL) - Russian President Boris Yeltsin has dismissed General Konstantin Kobets from the post of Deputy Defense Minister and Chief Military Inspector.

Yeltsin spokesman Sergei Yastrzhembsky made the announcement in Moscow today. Yesterday, Russia's military prosecutor's office recommended the dismissal of Kobets, who is accused of graft. Kobets has been charged with accepting 1,400 million roubles ($245,000) in bribes, abuse of office, and illegal possession of firearms. He denies all charges.

More than 100 senior officers, including some 20 generals, are said to be under investigation on suspicion of corruption or embezzlement.

The Kremlin announced today that Yeltsin will chair a meeting of his Defense Council on Thursday that will focus on military reform.