Russian military leader injured in road accident: ministry

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General Vladimir Shamanov, the controversial head of Russia's airborne forces, was injured in a road accident Saturday after a lorry was in a collision with his official car, officials said.

Shamanov's driver was killed in the accident, which happened near the city of Tula around 200 kilometers (120 miles) south of Moscow, said a statement from the local prosecutor's office.

Shamanov, 53, suffered serious injuries, including a concussion and a broken arm and leg, it added. Two other officers were also injured, it said.

A defence ministry statement said that while his injuries were relatively serious, his life was not in danger.

General-lieutenant Shamanov was transferred to hospital in Moscow, where he was visited by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Russian news agencies reported.

Shamanov commanded Russian troops in the brief Russia-Georgia war in August 2008 and has led Russia's elite airborne troops since 2009.

He received a Hero of the Russian Federation decoration for his service in Chechnya, but human rights groups there have accused him of war crimes.

Last year he was reprimanded for abusing power after sending elite troops to prevent a raid on a factory owned by his son, who was wanted for attempted murder.

© 2010 AFP

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