Postnikov New Ground Troops CINC

General-Colonel Aleksandr Postnikov

This morning ITAR-TASS reported a number of changes in the Ground Troops and military distict leadership.  SibVO commander Postnikov becomes Ground Troops CINC, replacing Vladimir Boldyrev, retired on age grounds–he just turned 61. 

Postnikov will be 53 in February.  Commissioned in 1978, he’s served in many combined arms command posts, including in the GSFG and several military districts.  He served in army-level staff and command posts in the MVO and SKVO.  He was chief of staff, first deputy commander of the SKVO from 2004 to late 2006, when he moved to SibVO, becoming its commander in mid-2007. 

Postnikov now goes by Postnikov, but his real surname is Streltsov.  After marrying the daughter of former Army General Stanislav Postnikov, he adopted the hyphenated Postnikov-Streltsov, later dropping Streltsov completely.  The recent problems at the frozen ‘Steppe’ garrison in Postnikov’s SibVO didn’t hurt his promotion chances.  He eagerly publicized every SibVO effort to implement Serdyukov’s ‘new profile,’ and it apparently paid off.  

Postnikov’s chief of staff, first deputy commander also benefited.  General-Lieutenant Aleksandr Galkin moves from SibVO to become SKVO commander, replacing 57-year-old General-Colonel Sergey Makarov, sent off to retirement. 

General-Lieutenant Aleksandr Galkin

Galkin commanded the 41st CAA before moving up in the SibVO.  He’ll be 52 in March.  He doesn’t strike as particularly fit. 

General-Lieutenant Vladimir Chirkin will replace Postnikov as SibVO commander.  Chirkin was chief of staff, first deputy commander of the PUrVO. 

General-Lieutenant Vladimir Chirkin

Chirkin once served as chief of staff of the SKVO’s 58th CAA, and later as a deputy commander of the MVO.  He served in the GSFG and several MDs.  He will be 55 this year.  Interestingly, he was born in Khasavyurt, Dagestan and has four children.  He needs more apartment space. 

In a move that may reflect continued downgrading of the central apparatus and staff in Moscow, the very junior General-Major Sergey Surovikin will leave the [once?] prestigious Genshtab Main Operations Directorate (GOU) to replace Chirkin as chief of staff, first deputy commander in PUrVO.  Officers used to leave GOU only to move up or to retire. 

General-Major Sergey Surovikin

Surovikin commanded the 20th CAA before replacing the very experienced General-Colonel Rukshin as GOU Chief before the war with Georgia in 2008.  Surovikin will turn 46 this year.  He reportedly fought in Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Chechnya.  He commanded the 34th and 42nd MRDs.  He is said to come from the ‘iron fist’ school of military leadership.  While commanding the 34th, one of his colonels blew his brains out in front of the entire staff after Surovikin upbraided him.  Serdyukov’s weeding out of GOU apparently occurred on Surovikin’s watch; about 500 posts, including lots of colonels and generals were reportedly eliminated from GOU in late 2008 and early 2009. 

It’s strange Surovikin would return to the ‘sticks’ so soon, and simply to what would be the next rung of the career ladder for him.  Did he cope with the GOU assignment or not?  Maybe he accomplished what was intended and wanted to return ‘to the troops.’  But his GOU tour seems like an abbreviated one. 

General-Lieutenant Andrey Tretyak moves from chief of staff, first deputy commander of LenVO to take over GOU from Surovikin.  Before his LenVO tour, Tretyak commanded the 20th CAA, and served in various MDs plus the GSFG. 

General-Lieutenant Andrey Tretyak

Tretyak is probably about 50-51, and was born into a serviceman’s family in Soviet-occupied East Germany. 

Finally, General-Major Ivan Buvaltsev will take Tretyak’s place as LenVO chief of staff, first deputy commander. 

General-Major Ivan Buvaltsev

Buvaltsev has been serving as first deputy chief of the Defense Ministry’s Main Combat Training and Troop Service Directorate.  He previously headed the MVO’s combat training directorate and commanded a tank division.

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