Sunday 25 September 2016

Head of Russia's military intelligence service dies aged 58

Published 04/01/2016 | 19:06

Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin

The head of the Russian military's main intelligence service has died at the age of 58, the defence ministry said.

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A ministry statement said Colonel-General Igor Sergun died suddenly on Sunday, but gave no further information on the cause of death or where it occurred.

The military intelligence service, widely known by the acronym GRU, is believed to be Russia's largest foreign intelligence operation.

Ukraine has alleged that soldiers connected with the GRU have taken part in the conflict in eastern Ukraine, where government forces and Russia-backed separatists have been fighting since April 2014.

Col-Gen Sergun was appointed to head the GRU in 2011. Previously, the career officer had been Russia's military attache in Tirana, Albania.

He is survived by his wife and two daughters, Russian news reports said.

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