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Defense Ministry Denies Serdyukov Resignation

Defense Minister Anatoly Serfyukov at a rehearsal for a military parade. Andrei Makhonin

The Defense Ministry has denied reports that Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov and General Staff head Nikolai Makarov have asked to step down after the May 7 inauguration of President-elect Vladimir Putin.

"Media reports about the alleged request of the defense minister to not reappoint him to head the Defense Ministry are fiction," the Defense Ministry said in a statement carried by Interfax. The ministry also denied reports that Makarov would leave.

Earlier reports quoted a high-ranking Defense Ministry official as saying the two officials would not continue in their positions under the next administration.

Serdyukov "is extremely tired of all this army 'bacchanalia,' endless reform and lack of respect for military personnel, and has asked to transfer to a quieter place," the unidentified official said. RBC Daily reported. A bacchanalia was an ancient drunken festival in honor of the Greco-Roman god of wine.

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