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Soviet Marshal Fired Over Red Square Landing Dies At 101

Mathias Rust landed his Cessna right in front of the Kremlin on May 28, 1987.
Reports from Russia say Marshal Sergei Sokolov, the Soviet defense minister fired by the Politburo after a German teenager landed his plane on Moscow's Red Square, has died at the age of 101.

Sokolov was dismissed days after 19-year-old Mathias Rust landed his Cessna light aircraft right in front of the Kremlin in May 1987.

Although Soviet radars and interceptors tracked Rust's flight from Finland, air forces took no action to halt the flight.

Sokolov was a Red Army commander during the 1938 Soviet-Japanese military conflict and in World War II.

He helped plan the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in 1979 and was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union.

He was appointed defense minister in 1984.

Based on reporting by Interfax and AP