Who is Valentin Korabelnikov?
Korabelnikov attended the Minsk Higher Engineering Anti-Aircraft Rocket School of Air Defense, from which he graduated in 1969, and subsequently graduated from the Frunze Military Academy in 1974 and the General Staff Academy in 1988.
In May 1997 Korabelnikov was appointed Chief of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Russian General Staff, Russia's largest intelligence agency. Korabelnikov worked his way up the GRU hierarchy for 20 years before becoming the Intelligence Directorate's head. Korabelnikov spent time alongside Spetsnaz brigades in Chechnya, while he was reportedly responsible for the operation which resulted in the elimination of Chechen leader Dzhokhar Dudayev in 1996. Korabelnikov often involved himself personally in operational work, and was reportedly wounded by Chechen fighters.
In July 1999, Korabelnikov received an official acknowledgment from president Boris Yeltsin for his "significant contribution to the settlement of the Kosovo Conflict". He was a member of Russian delegation, led by Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov that met with Slobodan Milosevic during the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia.
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