The Soviet Union has appointed 50-year-old Col. Gen. Mikhail Moiseyev as armed forces chief, an army newspaper said Thursday, in a move that marks the rise of a new generation to the top ranks of the Soviet military.

Moiseyev was widely reported in the West to be Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev's choice to replace Marshal Sergei Akhromeyev, who was relieved of the post and now serves as a military adviser to Gorbachev, the Red Star newspaper said.The appointment represented a stunning promotion for Moiseyev, who was elevated over far more senior officers to become the second most powerful military man after Defense Minister Dmitri Yazov. The post has traditionally been held by World War II veterans.