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Senior Russian army officers resign over military reforms - paper

© RIA Novosti . Anton Denisov / Go to the photo bankSenior Russian army officers resign over military reforms
Senior Russian army officers resign over military reforms - Sputnik International
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Several influential members of the top brass have resigned due to differences with the head of Russia's General Staff over his implementation of military reforms, Nezavisimaya Gazeta reports.

Several influential members of the top brass have resigned due to differences with the head of Russia's General Staff over his implementation of military reforms, Nezavisimaya Gazeta reported on Tuesday.

The newspaper said that although the generals themselves have not made public the reasons for their departures, a senior officer said the opinion within the army is that they are leaving because they do not agree with Chief of Staff Army Gen. Nikolai Makarov's steps to reform the military.

The source denied that Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov was a reason for the officers' discontent.

"Some media write that Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov is to blame for all the troubles of the army. But it is not like that," Nezavisimaya Gazeta quoted the source as saying.

"As defense minister, Serdyukov has proven to be an effective manager," the source said, praising the minister for giving the troops new weapons and equipment. "But you can't say this about Makarov."

The officer accused Makarov of creating a situation under which the military is run in a perpetual state of temporary experimentation.

Russia's armed forces have been undergoing reform for years with mixed results and frequent reports of dissatisfaction in the officer corps.

As part of efforts to transform the military into a modern fighting force, the government has vowed to rearm troops with up-to-date weaponry and cut the number of service personnel to 1 million, increasing the number of professional soldiers.

There are currently 180,000 contract soldiers in uniform, with the bulk of the force consisting of enlisted personnel, but Serdyukov said on july 1 that by the end of 2017, the number of professional troops will increase to 425,000.

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