Ex-Russian defense minister Grachyov killed by meningoencephalitis

The cause of Sunday's death of former Russian defense minister Pavel Grachyov was acute meningoencephalitis, the Defense Ministry said.

Grachyov, who held the rank of general of the army and the tile of Hero of the Soviet Union, "died of acute meningoencephalitis on Sept. 23 at the Vishnevsky Central Military Clinic Hospital of the Russian Ministry of Defense in Moscow," the ministry said in a statement on Monday that was obtained by Interfax-AVN.

Grachyov, who was 64, would be buried at Moscow's Novodevichye Cemetery. His interment would follow a funereal ceremony at the Armed Forces Cultural Center from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, the ministry said.

Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov set up a commission to organize Grachyov's funeral and appointed the chief of the Armed Forces General Staff, Gen. of the Army Nikolai Makarov, as head of it.

Serdyukov offered his condolences to Grachyov's family, the statement said.

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