Russian President Dmitri Medvedev has dismissed the long-time head of the country's military intelligence service following disagreements over planned military reforms.
The Kremlin press service said the Russian leader signed a decree Friday relieving General Valentin Korabelnikov of his post as head of the Main Intelligence Directorate (the GRU) and announcing his retirement. Korabelnikov's first deputy, General Alexander Shlyakhturov, becomes the new chief of the country's largest intelligence agency.
Later in the day, officials said Korabelnikov was named an adviser to the Russian Armed Forces General Staff. Korabelnikov, who is 63, had headed the GRU since 1997. News reports from Moscow said he repeatedly had presented his resignation in protest against proposals to disband some military-intelligence units and place others under a different command.
The reform plan would place some GRU units under the general military command and end the service's status as an independent federal agency.
Some information for this report was provided by AP.