MOSCOW — Gen. Pavel I. Batov, former chief of staff of Warsaw Pact forces and a veteran of three wars, has died at age 87 after a long illness, the Soviet government newspaper Izvestia reported Thursday.
The report did not specify the illness nor give the date or place of the general's death. Batov began his 50-year military career in 1915 with the Russian imperial army. He switched allegiance to the Bolsheviks' Red Guard after the 1917 revolution that brought the Communists to power and fought in the ensuing civil war.
He commanded armies on the Don and Byelorussian fronts in World War II, and after several other postwar assignments capped his service with a term as Warsaw Pact chief of staff. Batov retired in 1965.
His medals include five Orders of Lenin, the nation's highest. He was twice designated a Hero of the Soviet Union for his World War II service.