Putin Reshuffles Defense Leadership

Putin Reshuffles Defense Leadership

Putin Reshuffles Defense Leadership

By Boniface Ihiasota, USA

Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to remove his long-standing ally, Sergei Shoigu from his position as defense minister, the Kremlin announced.

Shoigu, who has held the role since 2012, will be replaced by Deputy Prime Minister, Andrei Belousov, an economist with limited military experience. Shoigu will take on the role of secretary of Russia’s Security Council, Excel Magazine International has gathered.

The Kremlin cited the need for innovation within the defense ministry as the reason for the change.

Although analysts speculate that Putin aims to align Russia’s economy more closely with its military efforts, reflecting shifting priorities amid the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

The decision to appoint an economist to lead the Ministry of Defense underscores the Kremlin’s focus on integrating military expenditure into the broader economy.

Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov likened the move to the mid-1980s Soviet era, emphasizing the importance of innovation in military strategy.

Rumors of Shoigu’s weakening position had circulated in recent months, fueled by the arrest of one of his deputies on corruption charges and ongoing challenges in Russia’s campaign in Ukraine.

While Shoigu will retain a significant role as Security Council secretary, the shift is perceived as a demotion.

Shoigu, known for his close ties to Putin, rose to prominence as head of the emergencies and disaster relief ministry in the 1990s.

Despite lacking a military background, he was appointed defense minister, sparking some discontent among military officials.

Meanwhile, Belousov is viewed as a staunch defender of the state and is aligned with the Russian Orthodox Church.

He has a background in martial arts, much like Putin, and previously supported the annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Putin’s reelection for a fifth term further solidifies his leadership, having held power since May 2000.

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