Putin to Appoint New Defense Minister, Shakes Up Russian Cabinet

Written by Henrik Rothen

May.12 - 2024 10:13 PM CET

Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com
Putin to Appoint New Defense Minister.

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President Vladimir Putin announced on Sunday evening his decision to replace long-standing Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu.

After a 12-year tenure, Shoigu will step aside, making room for First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov to take up the role.

Shift Towards a Civilian Defense Leadership

Belousov, unlike his predecessor, will serve as a civilian defense minister.

This move marks a strategic shift as Russia mirrors aspects of its Soviet past, when the military and law enforcement accounted for 7.4% of state expenses during the mid-1980s, according to statements from Dmitry Peskov, Putin's spokesman, reported by Reuters.

The transition towards a civilian with an economic background in the defense ministry aligns with Putin's vision to streamline military expenses with the nation's broader interests.

Shoigu's New Role and the Future of Russian Security

Despite his replacement as defense minister, Sergey Shoigu will not find himself sidelined. Instead, he will ascend to the prestigious role of secretary of Russia's Security Council, a position considered highly influential within the government.

Shoigu takes over from Nikolai Patrushev, whose future role within the administration remains to be disclosed.

However, Peskov noted that an announcement regarding Patrushev’s new responsibilities is expected soon.

Amidst these changes, some pillars of Putin’s cabinet will remain.

Sergey Lavrov is set to continue as Foreign Minister, and Valery Gerasimov will maintain his position as Chief of the General Staff.

Additionally, last Friday saw the reappointment of Mikhail Mishustin as Prime Minister, a role he has held since 2020, with Anton Siluanov confirmed to remain as Finance Minister and Vladimir Kolokoltsev as the Interior Minister.

Continuity and Innovation in Putin's Russia

As Russia faces ongoing challenges and transformations, these strategic appointments reflect Putin’s approach to governance, focusing on stability in key areas while promoting innovation and alignment of military strategy with economic imperatives.

"The one who is more open to innovations is the one who will triumph on the battlefield," Peskov emphasized, underlining the Kremlin's philosophy in adapting to modern demands.

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