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Putin replaces defense minister Sergei Shoigu in Russia’s biggest political shake-up in years
10:24, 13.05.2024 |
4040 | 0

Vladimir Putin replaced his long-serving defense minister with a trained economist in an unexpected change of guard that signals the focus on growing the Russian war economy more than two years after the invasion of Ukraine.

Putin put forward his former economy aide and First Deputy Prime Minister Andrey Belousov, 65, to take over from Sergei Shoigu, 68, who was given a gentle demotion and put in charge of the security council. Nikolai Patrushev, an old ally of Putin who had held that post, was dismissed and is due to take another, unspecified job.

Most of Shoigu’s predecessors under Putin also didn’t have military background, but this is the first time Putin is picking a career economist to be a defense minister.

The reshuffle comes mere days after the Russian president was sworn in for a fifth term, extending his quarter-century in power, and would appear to show Putin’s displeasure with the handling of the war by those in charge of security.

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