Menu Close

Vladimir Putin set to replace Sergei Shoigu as Russia defence minister

Vladimir Putin set to replace Sergei Shoigu as Russia defence minister

Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to replace his long-standing ally Sergei Shoigu as defence minister, the Kremlin has announced.

The 68-year-old has been in the role since 2012 and is to be appointed the head of Russia’s Security Council.

Papers published by the upper chamber of the Russian parliament said Mr Shoigu will be replaced by Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov.

Mr Shoigu has played a key role in Russia’s war with Ukraine.

Russian government papers show Mr Putin wants Mr Shoigu to take over from Nikolai Patrushev on the security council.

As defence minister, Mr Shoigu became embroiled in a public feud with Wagner mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin in 2023, over Russia’s conduct of the war in Ukraine.

Mr Prigozhin, who led a short-lived mutiny against Moscow, accused Mr Shoigu of being a “dirtbag” and “elderly clown” in audio messages that went viral.

The mercenary chief died in a plane crash while flying from St Petersburg to Moscow in August 2023 – the Kremlin denied it was to blame.

Mr Shoigu’s suggested replacement Mr Belousov is an economist with little military experience and will come as a surprise to some.

But Kremlin press spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the proposed appointment of a civilian shows the role of defence minister calls for “innovation”.

“The one who is more open to innovations is the one who will be victorious on the battlefield,” he said, according to Reuters.

Mr Putin was sworn in as president for a fifth time on Tuesday after winning Russia’s recent election with 87% of the vote and without facing any credible opponents. He has led Russia since May 2000.

Among cabinet members to keep their positions is veteran foreign minister Sergei Lavrov.

Source link

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *