Lt. Gen. Alexander Shlyakhturov Quits

The chief of Russia’s military intelligence (GRU), Lt. Gen. Alexander Shlyakhturov, resigned from his post on Saturday, the Kommersant business daily reported.

According to the newspaper, Shlyakhturov, 64, will in the near future head the board of directors of the Moscow Institute of Heat Engineering (MIT), the developer of the Bulava ballistic missile and other strategic missile systems.

Now it is led by the head of Russia’s Federal Space Agency Roscosmos Vladimir Popovkin. His coming resignation is due to the fact that President Dmitry Medvedev said in April 2011 he wanted all government ministers to give up their seats on the boards of some of the country’s biggest state firms.

Kommersant’s source in the General Staff said earlier that Shlyakhturov has the confidence of Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov. His appointment as a head of MIT is presumably aimed at resolving the conflict between the military authorities and producers around the state defense procurement.

Shlyakhturov has led the GRU since April 2009. The public knows nothing about General Shlyakhturov’s biography and service record. Such tight secrecy implies that he is a career intelligence operative.

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