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Medvedev Sacks a General


A week after ousting the finance minister, President Dmitry Medvedev continued a government shuffle Monday by dismissing a general who reportedly disagreed with the Kremlin's military reforms.

Medvedev signed an order dismissing Lieutenant General Andrei Tretyak as deputy chief of the armed forces' General Staff, the Kremlin said, adding that Tretyak would retire from the military as well.

Tretyak made national headlines in July when unidentified Defense Ministry officials were quoted saying he was among three high-ranking defense officials ready to retire to protest the military reforms and because of a conflict with superiors. 

Tretyak has not confirmed the reports, and Medvedev's order, published on the Kremlin web site, did not give a reason for the dismissal.

Medvedev is spearheading a 20 trillion ruble ($620 billion) weapons upgrade of the military that, in part, caused Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin to balk at the prospect of serving in a Cabinet headed by Medvedev late last month. Medvedev forced Kudrin's resignation last Monday, in a response that analysts said illustrated that Medvedev wanted to show he remained in charge after announcing that he and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin intended to swap jobs next year.

Ongoing military reforms have also angered some in the Defense Ministry.

Tretyak, 52, who served as deputy head of the General Staff since January 2010, has been replaced by Lieutenant General Vladimir Zarudnitsky, who formerly headed the troops of the Southern Military District, the Kremlin said.

Medvedev also dismissed Major General Valery Shemyakin, deputy head of the military's transportation aviation, on Monday. No reason was given by the Kremlin.

Medvedev has indicated that other government shuffles are in the offing.

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