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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Shamanov Tipped for Senior Post

A general accused of human rights abuses in Chechnya will be appointed commander of the Defense Ministry's department for combat training, news reports said Tuesday.

Lieutenant General Vladimir Shamanov, a veteran of both Chechen wars, has the support of Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, who is gradually replacing loyalists of his predecessor in top posts, and First Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Kolmakov, who served with Shamanov in the elite airborne troops, Kommersant reported.

Kommersant first reported the development Tuesday, and Interfax later confirmed the report. Both reports cited unidentified senior Defense Ministry officials. Ministry spokesman Yury Khvedchikhin said he was unaware of the pending appointment.

Human rights organizations have said that troops under Shamanov's command in Chechnya committed atrocities against civilians. In one instance, up to 40 people died when his troops stormed the Chechen village of Alkhan Yurt in 1999, human rights investigators said.

Shamanov was elected governor of Ulyanovsk in 2000 but did not seek re-election under Kremlin pressure. He served as adviser to the prime minister before taking his current post, adviser to the defense minister, in 2006.

Shamanov met U.S. President George W. Bush in March in his capacity as a co-chair of a U.S.-Russian commission on missing soldiers, a visit that embarrassed the White House after it learned of the abuse allegations.