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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

President Makes Troshev His Adviser on Cossacks

President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday appointed Colonel General Gennady Troshev to the low-profile post of presidential adviser on Cossacks, one month after ousting the outspoken general from the high-profile post of commander of the North Caucasus Military District.

Troshev's new job will be to coordinate efforts of the presidential envoys in the seven federal districts to steer the some 600,000 registered Cossacks, according to Putin's decree.

By the same decree Putin dismissed former air force commander Pyotr Deinekin from the post of head of the presidential administration's department on Cossack affairs and disbanded the department. Deinekin, who in December turned 65, the retirement age for a civil servant, said he planned to pursue a career in the civil aviation industry.

Troshev could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Deinekin and officers of the North Caucasus Military District congratulated Troshev on the appointment. "Being an adviser to the president is no less honorable than commanding units in the depths of Russia," Deinekin said in an interview.

However, although he is being brought to Moscow from Rostov-on-Don, the veteran of both Chechnya campaigns could find himself in a political backwater, according to one political analyst. "This is a test designed by the Kremlin," said Alexei Makarkin of the Center for Political Technologies. Only if Troshev proves his loyalty will the Kremlin consider supporting him in a run for the State Duma or for a governor's seat, Makarkin said. Since Troshev's ouster, the media have speculated that he may run for leader of Chechnya.

Theoretically, Troshev could have spurned Putin's offer and joined the left opposition, which has courted the commander since his removal. Duma Deputy Alexander Barannikov, of the Union of Right Forces party, said Troshev could have posed a "threat to the Kremlin ... since the most radical left forces could have united behind him."

But Troshev could not have hoped to become a political heavyweight in opposition to the Kremlin, Makarkin said.

Troshev also could not have realistically hoped that Putin would appoint him to another senior post in the Defense Ministry after he publicly spurned Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov's "offer" to swap posts with the commander of the Siberian Military District. It was this snub that led to his ouster.

There are more than 600,000 people registered as Cossacks in Russia, including 20,000 serving in uniform. Unlike Boris Yeltsin, though, Putin has shown no particular interest in courting the Cossacks as a separate military force.