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Russia's Ground Forces get new commander

MOSCOW, August 4 (RIA Novosti) - General of the Army Vladimir Boldyrev has been appointed commander of Russia's Ground Forces, the Defense Ministry announced on Monday.

Boldyrev, 59, replaces General of the Army Alexey Maslov, 54, who had occupied the post since November 2004 and has been appointed Russia's senior military representative to NATO.

Prior to his new appointment, Gen. Boldyrev served as commander of the Volga-Urals military district.

Russia's Ground Forces are placed in six military districts of the country, and total about 400,000 personnel, according to various estimates.

This branch of the Armed Forces deploys over 22,800 main battle tanks, over 15,000 infantry fighting vehicles, about 10,000 armored personnel carriers and almost 20,000 artillery pieces including self-propelled artillery.

According to a draft military doctrine due to be adopted in the fall 2008, the Ground Forces will see an increased share of 'permanent readiness' and 'rapid response' units manned with contract soldiers.

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