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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Putin removes Shoigu as Russia’s defence minister

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Moscow: In a surprise move, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday replaced Sergei Shoigu, who has been defence minister for years, with Andrei Belousov, an economist, the Kremlin said.

Removal of Shoigu as his defence minister is Putin’s most significant reshuffle to the military command since Russian troops invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

The Kremlin said Andrei Belousov, a former deputy prime minister who specialises in economics, has replaced Shoigu.

After being sworn in for his fifth term as the Russian head of state last week, Putin proposed that Shoigu take the position as head of Russia’s powerful security council, which has been led by Nikolai Patrushev, a former spy and close Putin aide.

Shoigu, Russia’s longest-serving minister, took charge of the defence ministry in 2012 and has been leading Russia’s military through its full-scale invasion of Ukraine for the over past two years.

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