Shakeup in Kremlin: Patrushev's New Role Surprises Russian Elite

Written by Camilla Jessen

May.15 - 2024 11:01 AM CET

In a recent reshuffle of his fifth-term cabinet, Vladimir Putin appointed Nikolai Patrushev as his presidential aide.

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On May 14, Vladimir Putin reshuffled his fifth-term cabinet by appointing Alexei Dyumin, former governor of Tula Oblast, and Nikolai Patrushev, former Secretary of the Security Council, as presidential aides.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated that Dyumin would manage aspects related to Russia's defense industrial base, the State Council, and sports policy, while Patrushev would oversee the strategic development of Russia’s shipbuilding industry, with potential additional responsibilities.

Presidential aides in Russia typically assist with crafting proposals and participating in official meetings, roles essential to the execution of the president’s mandate, according to the US Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

The reassignment of Patrushev, on the other hand, has caused considerable surprise among the Kremlin elite.

According to the Russian opposition publication Meduza, sources close to the Kremlin were "stunned" to learn of Patrushev’s removal from the Security Council and his new advisory role in shipbuilding.

Patrushev has been a close Putin ally and is reported to have been involved in high-stakes operations, including the alleged orchestration of the assassination of Wagner owner Yevgeny Prigozhin. He has also represented Putin in diplomatic missions.

Despite his new nominal focus on shipbuilding, it is anticipated that Putin will continue to utilize Patrushev’s extensive diplomatic experience and connections.

However, his new position is widely perceived as a demotion.

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