Soviet Defense Chief Fired over Red Square Landing Dies at 101

Sergei Sokolov, the oldest of four surviving Marshals of the Soviet Union and the man who was dismissed from the post of defense minister after an amateur German pilot landed his plane on Moscow’s Red Square in the 1980s, died in Moscow on Friday aged 101.

“On August 31 in Moscow, at the age of 101, the great war hero, military leader, Hero and Marshal of the Soviet Union Sergey Leonidovich Sokolov passed away,” the Defense Ministry announced in a press release.

Sokolov was appointed defense minister in 1984. Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev fired him days after German teenager Mathias Rust landed his light aircraft on Red Square in May 1987.

After his dismissal Sokolov worked as a Russian Defense Ministry adviser.

Sokolov was the oldest living marshal, the second-highest military rank in the Soviet Army.


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