In yesterday’s Nezavisimaya gazeta, Sergey Konovalov followed up the story of the retiring generals — Andrey Tretyak, Sergey Skokov, and Oleg Ivanov.
Konovalov held to the main line of his earlier report. He maintains the retirement of these Defense Ministry central apparatus officers has been “frozen.” Without addressing the various explanations and denials in the media, he asks why three promising generals would want out early. Finally, he repeats his earlier contention that the resignations could be a sign of “military opposition” to Defense Minister Serdyukov’s reforms.
Konovalov cites a highly-placed Defense Ministry source saying:
“Soon representatives of the Presidential Administration’s cadre organs will talk with the generals who requested discharge to find out the real reasons why young, promising leaders are retiring from the army.”
A law enforcement source tells NG that the Main Military Prosecutor has long questioned the Defense Ministry’s cadre policy:
“Competent officers are dismissed, meanwhile every kind of lawbreaker who’s had a run-in with military justice gets moved up to higher duties.”
One general told NG that General-Lieutenant Sergey Surovikin — slated to head Russia’s new military police force — got one year of probation for trying to sell a pistol while attending the Frunze Military Academy. The paper then lists some other, less prominent, cases of officers with shady or criminal backgrounds who’ve advanced through the ranks to higher posts.
NG’s sources claim the Defense Ministry’s cadre policy will soon undergo an analysis and evaluation by the PA’s cadre department.
The Defense Ministry’s PR blitz (as well as independent reporting) in the wake of the resignations blunted Konovalov’s assertion that the generals were quitting over disagreements with military reforms. This article answered his question from earlier — his sources say the PA will investigate recent Defense Ministry personnel moves. But one wonders how much time and attention President Medvedev’s people can devote to this with an agenda already full of political and domestic policy issues.