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Slivchenko, the former ceo of Russia’s largest drugstore chain, replaces Stanislav Ploschenko, who has left the company, Mechel said.

Slivchenko, 38, worked as executive director and then ceo of Russian Pharmacy Chain 36.6 in 2011 and 2012. Between 2007 and 2011, he worked as vp for corporate finance at United Aircraft Corp, the Russian state-run manufacturer of Sukhoi Su-30 combat jets.

In the past few years, Mechel has accumulated a massive amount of debt by investing heavily in coal and steelmaking assets and setting up a network of service and distribution centres.

The company was forced to sell some assets at symbolic prices to cut losses and pay off debt last year, amid the weak coking coal market environment.

Mechel said in December that a major restructuring of its business had been completed.

As of December 31, 2013, the company's net debt stood at $8.7 billion, down from $9.1 billion on June 30.

Mechel agreed to extend the grace period and maturity, as well as the covenant payment holidays on a $1bn loan late last year. 

The New-York-listed miner’s earnings plunged by 50% in 2013 due to a fall in coking coal product prices.