Putin changes Russian defense minister in surprising move

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Russian President Vladimir Putin made a change in the country’s defense leadership positions this Sunday (12), in a surprising move, as Russian forces advance in the war against Ukraine.

Putin appointed Andrey Belousov, 65, as the new Defense Minister, replacing Sergei Shoigu, 68, who is expected to take over as head of the Security Council.

An economist, Belousov is deputy prime minister and, before that, served as Putin’s economic advisor. Shoigu, who has served as defense minister since 2012, will take over as head of the Security Council following the dismissal of Nikolai Patrushev, who is expected to take another role, in accordance with Putin’s order.

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Shoigu was targeted by the founder of the Wagner paramilitary group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, when he led a June 2023 uprising. Shoigu has been a close ally of Putin, accompanying him on hunting trips and horseback riding in Siberia, widely covered in the media Russian, in addition to having headed the Russian Emergencies Ministry for almost 20 years.

Russia has recently made limited local gains along the front line in Ukraine as local forces suffer from weapons and manpower shortages and a dire need for more air defense systems.

The Kremlin controls almost 20% of Ukrainian territory, but its forces are advancing cautiously, as Putin has been cautious about ordering another unpopular mobilization after the call-up of 300,000 Russians in September 2022 provoked panic and an exodus from the country.

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© 2024 Bloomberg L.P.

The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Putin Russian defense minister surprising move

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