3 Top Health Ministry Officials Quit

Three senior officials at the Health and Social Development Ministry, including the head of the Pension Fund and the deputy head of the Social Insurance Fund, have quit their posts, the ministry said Friday.

The head of the Pension Fund, Gennady Batanov, 63, resigned of his own volition after three years in the post, the ministry said Friday.

Batanov's resignation could be connected with evidence of embezzlement found during a recent audit, a source at the Audit Chamber said Friday, Prime-Tass reported. The Audit Chamber later denied the report, the news agency said.

Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov has dismissed Galina Karelova, the chairwoman of the Social Insurance Fund, the government's press service said Friday. Karelova will take a seat as a United Russia deputy in the State Duma.

Ruslan Khasanov, deputy head of the ministry's Health and Social Development Agency, also left his post, Kommersant reported Saturday.