CSTO Chief Leaves Post After Being Charged In Armenia

Yuri Khachaturov, the current head of the Collective Security Treaty (CSTO), has been relieved of his duties after being charged with overthrowing Armenia's constitutional order when he was the country's deputy defense minister.

The CSTO is a Russia-led regional security grouping that includes Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan.

A statement posted on the CSTO website on November 2 says that Khachaturov is leaving his post early at the request of Armenia's government.

The move came a day after Armenian President Armen Sarkisian said that Yerevan may recall Khachaturov from the post.

Khachaturov was officially charged in July of involvement in the "overthrowing of Armenia's constitutional order" during an investigation into the crackdown that followed a disputed March 2008 presidential election.

The same charges were brought against former President Robert Kocharian, who was accused of ordering the violent repression of the protests, in which eight demonstrators and two police officers were killed.

Khachaturov, who is 66, was born in Georgia and was chief of the General Staff of the Armenian armed forces from 2008 to 2016.

At the time of the protests, he was also deputy defense minister.