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Russian general allegedly killed in Syria dismisses death rumors


09:21, August 09, 2012

MOSCOW, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- A high-ranking Russian military officer who was reportedly killed in Syria appeared at a news conference Wednesday to refute the rumors.

"I want to confirm that I am alive in good health and live in Moscow. As a retired general, I understand this information is a provocation not only against me personally but also against my country," Maj. Gen. Vladimir Kuzheyev told reporters.

According to Russian law enforcement and security agencies, Kuzheyev had served in Syria as a military advisor for the Defense Ministry but returned to Moscow after his contract expired.

No other generals with similar names serve in the Russian Armed Forces, the Defense Ministry said.

"Such claims are not intended for a sensation. They are an apparent provocation targeting Russian servicemen. Media hoaxes of this sort have been invented for many years and they are circulated in accordance with the same old pattern and have the same authors. Only countries change," the Defense Ministry said.

Earlier, representatives of a Syrian opposition group known as the "Hawks Special Operations Battalion" told the Al-Arabiya TV channel that they had killed a Russian general who they identified as Kodzhiyev.
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