The Red-Army Blues

Pavel Grachev, Moscow's embattled Defense Minister, is faring as poorly as the army he commands

When Defense Minister Pavel Grachev appeared before the Russian parliament two weeks ago, everyone expected that his visit would be the political equivalent of a burning at the stake. His numerous critics were eager to toss a branch onto the fire that seemed about to consume the career of the 46-year- old paratroop veteran of the Afghan War who was promoted to Defense Minister three years ago. As the general who oversaw the final withdrawal of his country's army from eastern Germany last August -- an exercise most Russian soldiers still find humiliating -- Grachev has become the embodiment of every...

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