MOSCOW, December 30 (RIA Novosti) –
Russian gas giant Gazprom said on Friday it had dismissed three top managers, including Deputy Chairman of the Management Committee Alexander Ananenkov.
Gazprom has appointed Vitaly Markelov as a new deputy chairman of the management committee. Vladimir Markov will replace Viktor Ilyushin as a head of the department for relations with the Russian Federation authorities. A new head of the asset management and corporate relations department will be Yelena Mikhailova instead of Olga Pavlova.
"Alexander Ananenkov, Viktor Ilyushin and Olga Pavlova have been dismissed from their offices," the company said in a statement.
The dismissals may be to with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's order in mid-December to initiate checks in the coming two months into all state-run energy companies, including Gazprom, to root out any corruption scams or employee connections with offshore firms.
A source in Gazprom told Prime news agency that the discharges were not linked with Putin's order.
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If attempts to drag Russia into a direct military conflict in Ukraine are successful, it would be a catastrophe for Russia comparable to the 1979-1989 Afghan war. There is no direct evidence that the US is trying to bring about a second Afghan war, but indirect evidence abounds.