Russian military elites die ‘suddenly’December 27, 2022
Istanbul: A former Russian army chief with long-standing ties to Ukraine has died “suddenly” at the age of 69, the tank factory where he worked has reported.
No further explanation was given by the Uralvagonzavod machine-building company, the world’s largest tank manufacturer, where Alexei Maslov was an international sales representative. Its factory is at Nizhny Tagil, 1600 km east of Moscow.
Maslov, who was the commander in chief of Russia’s ground forces from 2004 to 2008, died on Christmas day at a military hospital in Moscow, the company said.
Uralvagonzavod called him a “distinguished commander who made a valiant journey from a platoon commander to the commander-in-chief of the ground forces”.
Maslov came from a Russian region bordering on Ukraine and had close ties there. His military career began in Soviet Ukraine, where he studied in a top college for military commanders in Kharkiv. He was later stationed in the Carpathian mountains on the border with Romania.
After his four-year stint commanding Russia’s found forces, Maslov was appointed deputy to Dmitry Rogozin, Russia’s then-envoy to NATO in Brussels.
Rogozin, a staunch supporter of the Ukraine invasion, was wounded in a Ukrainian artillery strike last week.
On Tuesday he described the general as an “experienced officer, a demanding commander and a good person”.
Maslov’s death came days after a navy official in charge of non-nuclear submarine building also suffered a “sudden death”.
Alexander Buzakov, 65, general director of Admiralty Shipyards, died last weekend, the day after he presided over the floating-out of a new submarine from the company’s base in St Petersburg, Vladimir Putin’s home city.
The firm described his death as “sudden, untimely and tragic” but did not elaborate on the cause.
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