Press sources report 52-year-old General-Major (one-star) Igor Sergun has replaced General-Colonel Aleksandr Shlyakhturov as GRU Chief. Not surprisingly, little is known about Sergun.
Izvestiya reports Shlyakhturov’s departure was in the works for some time, and Sergun took over the job on December 22. The paper’s Genshtab source says Sergun headed an unidentified GRU directorate prior to relieving his predecessor. Knowledgable outside observers who spoke with Izvestiya believe Sergun arrives at a difficult time, following reforms and personnel cuts implemented by Shlyakhturov.
While not necessarily a “youth movement,” Sergun’s appointment follows a trend of putting lower-ranking officers and generals in charge of key Defense Ministry and General Staff directorates.
Komsomolskaya’s Viktor Baranets claims Sergun is the first to head the military intelligence agency at such a low rank.
Novyy region added a bit, saying Sergun is 54 (born in 1957) and was a colonel serving as military attache in Albania in 1998, according to press from that time.