Putin replaces Shoigu as defense minister

The president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, proposed this Sunday a major change in both the country's Government and the current war campaign against Ukraine, which has already lasted more than two years.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
11 May 2024 Saturday 22:44
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Putin replaces Shoigu as defense minister

The president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, proposed this Sunday a major change in both the country's Government and the current war campaign against Ukraine, which has already lasted more than two years. According to information from the Federation Council (the Russian Senate), the head of the Kremlin wants to remove the current Defense Minister, Sergei Shoigu, from his duties and appoint Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Beloúsov in his place.

Shoigu, an old ally of Putin at the head of Defense since 2012, does not, however, abandon positions of responsibility within Russia's power structure. Putin has reserved for him the secretary of the powerful Security Council, replacing another veteran confidant of Putin, Nikolai Patrushev. He will be given another task, the Kremlin said, but he has not yet announced which one.

Unlike Shoigu, an army general, Belausov is a civilian. The man who will now have to take charge of the military campaign against Ukraine is 65 years old. In 2012 and 2013 he headed the Ministry of Economic Development, and from 2013 to 2020 he was advisor to the president for economic affairs.

Since that year he was the main deputy prime minister of the current head of the Government, Mijaíl Mishustin. From that position he supervised, in particular, economic development policy, financial, credit and monetary policy, infrastructure projects and state regulation of financial markets.

Vladimir Putin has taken advantage of his recent inauguration, on May 7, to make changes to the Executive. According to Russian law, when a president takes office the Government must resign. The new president appoints a new Government. Putin's proposals reached the Upper House of the Russian Parliament this Sunday.

Putin has decided to keep Mishustin. But he wants to change some ministers and deputy ministers. Like Denis Mánturov, who will leave Industria and will be replaced by Antón Alijanov. Manturov will be the new first deputy prime minister. Or Dimitri Patrushev, who will leave Agriculture in the hands of Oksana Lut.

The head of Foreign Affairs, the veteran Sergei Lavrov, will remain in his position, the Kremlin has said.

Formally, senators have to approve the Russian president's proposals. They will debate them in their committees this Monday, May 13, and in the Federation Council assembly on the 14th.