2 Officials Close to Baluyevsky Quit

Two top military officials have resigned after the recent ouster of General Staff chief Yury Baluyevsky, Interfax reported Monday.

Colonel General Yevgeny Karpov, chief of the Signal Corps, and Colonel General Alexander Rukshin, head of the General Staff's main operational directorate, key members of Baluyevsky's team, have both been discharged from military service, the report said.

No one has been named to replace them, it said.

Baluyevsky clashed in 2007 with Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov over the minister's decision to put a retired FSB general, Oleg Eskin, in charge of a newly established directorate responsible for encrypting communications and guarding classified information, overlapping with the responsibilities of Karpov's corps, the national media has reported.

The standoff between Baluyevsky and the Serdyukov over the minister's planned reforms generated regular leaks to the press before the minister finally tapped Colonel General Nikolai Makarov to take over as head of the General Staff.

Also Monday, RIA-Novosti reported that Colonel General Vasily Smirnov, chief of the General Staff's mobilization directorate, had applied for a discharge.

Smirnov, who was already erroneously reported in the national media to have tendered his resignation along with Baluyevsky earlier this year, denied the latest reports of his imminent departure on Monday.

"I have not written [such a request], and the idea has not even occurred to me," Smirnov said Monday, Interfax reported.

Calls to chief Defense Ministry spokesman Alexander Drobyshevsky went unanswered Monday.