Igor Sergeyev

Igor Dmitriyevich Sergeyev (Russian: Игорь Дмитриевич Сергеев; 20 April 1938 – 10 November 2006) was a Soviet/Russian military officer who was Minister of Defense of Russia from 22 May 1997 to 28 March 2001. He was the first and (as of 2021) the only Marshal of the Russian Federation.[1]

Igor Dmitriyevich Sergeyev
Игорь Дмитриевич Сергеев
Minister of Defence
In office
22 May 1997 – 28 March 2001
Prime Minister
Preceded byIgor Rodionov
Succeeded bySergei Ivanov
Personal details
Igor Dmitriyevich Sergeyev

20 April 1938
Verkhnyeye, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union
Died10 November 2006(2006-11-10) (aged 68)
Moscow, Russia
(buried at Troyekurovskoye Cemetery)
Spouse(s)Tamara Sergeyeva
Alma materMilitary Academy of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia
AwardsHero of the Russian Federation
Military service
Allegiance Soviet Union (1955–1991)
 Russia (1991–2001)
Branch/service Russian Navy
Strategic Rocket Forces
Years of service1955–2001
RankMarshal of the Russian Federation
CommandsMinistry of Defense of the Russian Federation
Battles/warsWar of Dagestan
Second Chechen War


Sergeyev served briefly in the Navy but later transferred to the Army, where he spent most of his career in the Strategic Rocket Forces. Sergeyev became commander in chief of the Strategic Rocket Forces in 1992. In this position he was in charge of securing the former USSR's nuclear weapons.[2]

Defense MinisterEdit

Sergeyev was appointed Minister of Defense in 1997 by Russian President Boris Yeltsin. He was promoted to Marshal of Russia on 21 November 1997, the only Russian military officer to achieve that rank. Sergeyev accepted reform within a limited budget under civilian political control. The number of military educational establishments was reduced markedly from their previous levels, which had not changed since Soviet times. A number of army divisions were given "permanent readiness" status, which was supposed to bring them up to 80 percent manning and 100 percent equipment holdings. Sergeyev directed most of his efforts toward promoting the interests of the Strategic Rocket Forces. All military space forces were absorbed into the Strategic Rocket Forces, and the Ground Forces Headquarters was abolished. The Airborne Forces suffered some reductions, while the Naval Infantry only escaped due to their competent performance in Chechnya. Much of the available procurement money was invested in acquiring new rockets.

Sergeyev with Tajik Colonel General Sherali Khayrulloyev in Dushanbe.

In December 1999, Sergeyev called NATO enlargement, in and of itself, a threat to global and European collective security and world politics. He particularly stressed the deployment and use of NATO forces out of area without a United Nations or OSCE mandate as a threat that devalues confidence-building measures, arms control treaties and security.

Sergeyev was dismissed as defense minister in March 2001 and was replaced by Sergei Ivanov.

Sergeyev died on 10 November 2006 from the effects of blood cancer.


Sergeyev is blamed by some for not effectively acting during the War of Dagestan in 1999 but is also praised for the fact that the Russian military captured the Chechen capital Grozny in 2000 during the Second Chechen War.[citation needed] However, the ongoing fighting in the south of the country caused some concern about his efficacy after Vladimir Putin became president.

Honours and awardsEdit


External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Igor Rodionov
Defence Minister of the Russian Federation
Succeeded by
Sergei Ivanov