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Russia Replaces Head Of Military Spy Agency

Russia has replaced the head of its military intelligence organization, according to a Defense Ministry statement.

A ministry spokesman said that "Major General Igor Sergun has been appointed the head of the GRU (Main Intelligence Directorate) through a Kremlin decree."

Sergun replaces Aleksandr Shlyakhturov, who had spearheaded a shake-up of the service since his appointment in 2009.

The spokesman did not provide further details.

The state RIA Novosti news agency quoted a ministry spokesman suggesting that Shlyakhturov had reached retirement age. No other reason was given for the move.

The Main Intelligence Directorate traces its history back to 1918 in the early months of the Bolshevik revolution, and unlike other Russian secret services did not change its name after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

compiled from agency reports