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Russia Defense Min. Purges Baltic Fleet06/30 06:21

   MOSCOW (AP) -- Russia's defense minister has fired the commander of the 
Baltic Fleet and his top officers following a sweeping inspection.

   The Defense Ministry announced the purge in a terse statement late 
Wednesday. It said the fleet commander, Vice Adm. Viktor Kravchuk, his chief of 
staff, Rear Adm. Sergei Popov, and an undisclosed number of other senior 
officers of the fleets have been fired over serious flaws in combat training 
and their failure to take proper care of the personnel's conditions.

   It also mentioned that the fired officers had provided false reports about 
the fleet's condition.

   Online news portal reported Thursday that 50 senior officers of 
the fleet were fired alongside its chief. It said the purges followed alleged 
cover-up of a submarine accident, flaws in recruitment and military 
construction projects.


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