Monday, December 10, 2018

Vice-Admiral Igor Kostyukov Has Became A New Head Of The 'GRU'

From the left: President  Putin, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, Head of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia Valery Gerasimov,and Deputy GRU chief, Vice Adm. Igor Kostyukov at the centenary of GRU in Moscow, Russia, Friday, 2 Nov. 2018.
Vice-Admiral Igor Kostyukov has become the new head of Russian Military Intelligence Directorate, sources have said. The top job at GRU, which scares the West so much, was vacant since the death of Col.General Igor V. Korobov in November his predecessor. Kostyukov, who used to be the acting head of the GRU, has now fully taken the reigns at the agency, a source told Tass.The assignment was reportedly made by Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu in early December. However, the complete news of it was only made public on Monday, again proving the high secrecy of GRU activities.

There has so far been no official announcement regarding Kostyukov’s new job. If reports are confirmed the 43-year-old will be the first Navy sailor to lead the agency since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. Previous spy chief, Colonel General Igor Korobov, died on 21 November after what the Defense Ministry said was “a long and serious illness.” Media reports claimed that Korobov died from cancer. He was the second head of the GRU to pass away in the space of just two years after Colonel General Igor Sergun died of heart attack outside Moscow in 2016. However, there was speculation in foreign media that Sergun was actually killed during a top secret mission in Lebanon. 

New spy chief Kostyukov has played an important role in planning Russia’s operations in Syria. Last year, he was awarded the highest state honor, the Hero of Russia, for his “bravery and heroism.” The man, who initially received Navy training, but joined the GRU after graduating from the Military Diplomatic Academy, was blacklisted by the US in 2016 along with other Russian officials.

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