Magazine article Russian Life

Pavel Grachyov

Magazine article Russian Life

Pavel Grachyov

Article excerpt

Former defense minister PAVEL GRACHYOV, who headed the arty during the Yeltsin era and is seen by many as the mastermind behind Russia's bloody Chechen war, died or September 23 in-Moscow at 64. Grachyov's controversial role in the history of modem Russia mace him a despicable figure for many, and, after his ouster in 1996, he lived the last years of his life in relative obscurity, dying of meningocephalitis in a Moscow hospital

Bom in the Tula region. Grachyov became a paratrooper and had an illustrious military career during the Soviet Union's Afghan War (1979-989). He was awarded the prestigious title of Hero of the Soviet Union, and in 1990 was promoted to Commander of the Soviet Airborne Troops. Later, he emerged as an ally of President Boris Yeltsin when, during the 1991 coup attempt, he refused to storm the Supreme Soviet evicting arid arrest Yeltsin.

He became defense minister in 1992. His most memorable legacy from the Fist Chechen War (1994-996) was his careless quote that the insurgents could be quelled in two hours. …

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