Putin's Inner Circle Takes Over Defense Ministry

Written by Camilla Jessen

Jun.18 - 2024 11:33 AM CET

Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Putin has appointed three new deputy ministers, including a relative involved in a major coal company.

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During a reshuffle of the Russian Defense Ministry, President Vladimir Putin appointed three new deputy ministers, as reported by Die Presse.

Among them is Anna Tsivileva, née Putina, who is believed to be a distant relative of Putin.

Tsivileva, along with her husband, Russian Energy Minister Sergei Tsiviljov, owns a substantial coal company. Due to their close ties to the Russian government, they are on the sanctions lists of the EU, Great Britain, and other countries.

Key Appointments

Anna Tsivileva, aged 52, will oversee housing construction and social security for army personnel.

Pavel Fradkov, another appointee, will manage the army's real estate and assets. Fradkov is the son of former intelligence chief and Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov.

The third appointee, Leonid Gorin, formerly the Deputy Minister of Finance, has been named the new First Deputy Minister of Defense.


Tsivileva previously headed a state fund supporting soldiers involved in Russia's war against Ukraine.

In a Telegram post, she expressed gratitude to Putin for his trust and the responsibility she now carries, as reported by the newspaper Izvestia.

These appointments follow the dismissal of long-serving defense minister Sergei Shoigu at the start of Putin's new term in May. Shoigu's dismissal came amid corruption investigations involving several members of his entourage.

Alexander Belousov, an economic expert, was appointed as the new defense minister, tasked with ensuring the efficient use of state funds.

Experts loyal to the Kremlin view these appointments as part of a broader policy to ensure efficient governance.

However, independent analysts have noted that the new deputy ministers are closely connected to Putin rather than being part of Belousov's team.

Economist Konstantin Sonin shared on X that "Personal security is more important to Putin than continuing the war."