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Russia: Defense Minister Promoted

Moscow, 21 November 1997 (RFE/RL) - Russian President Boris Yeltsin today promoted Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev to the rank of marshal.

Interfax said Yeltsin signed the decree after meeting today in the Kremlin with Sergeyev.

Sergeyev, who was appointed in May to implement badly needed reform in Russia's huge armed forces, thus becomes the first officer to obtain the rank of marshal in post-Soviet Russia.

Yeltsin also promoted the chief of the general staff, Anatoly Kvashnin, to the rank of army general.