President Vladimir Putin has appointed Lieutenant General Igor Korobov to head the Russian military intelligence agency, known as the GRU, following the death of his predecessor in early January.
A spokesman for the Defense Ministry said on February 2 that GRU deputy head Korobov had been promoted by a presidential decree to lead the highly secretive spy agency.
Korobov’s predecessor, Igor Sergun, died on January 3 at the age of 58.
He had held the position since 2011.
Mark Galeotti, an expert on Russia's security services and a professor at New York University, said shortly before the announcement of Korobov’s appointment that Korobov was a favorite to succeed Sergun.
Galeotti described Korobov as the "continuity choice."
The appointment comes amid an upsurge in Russian military activity abroad.