MOSCOW (Reuters) - President Boris Yeltsin made Russia's number-two military man a full army general on Tuesday, just days after promoting the defence minister to become post-Soviet Russia's first marshal. Defence experts say both promotions are clearly linked to Russia's slow-moving efforts to reform its military to cope with post-Cold War realities. By bestowing honours on the top two men, Yeltsin locks them into a vital but thankless process. At the Kremlin meeting, the president awarded Kvashnin the rank of army general. There are only a handful of full army generals in the Russian armed forces. Kvashnin is 51 and commanded Russian forces during Moscow's 1994-96 war against rebel Chechnya. Since June he has been deputy to Defence Minister Igor Sergeyev. On Friday, Yeltsin promoted Sergeyev from army general to marshal, reviving the highest Soviet military rank. Sergeyev previously commanded strategic missile forces and was made defence minister in May with the task of accelerating military reform, a process viewed as crucial for the fate of overall economic reform in the vast Russian Federation. The aim is to cut the demoralised and underfunded armed forces to close to one million by the end of the century from 1.7 million servicemen now. Russian newspapers were less than complimentary about Sergeyev's new rank and were likely to respond similarly to Kvashnin's promotion.