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Putin replaces Russian defense and security chiefs – POLITICO

Putin replaces Russian defense and security chiefs – POLITICO

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Kremlin spokesman Dimitry Peskov refused to elaborate on Patrushev’s fate, saying only  that details would be announced in the coming days. His son, Dmitry Patrushev, has been promoted to deputy prime minister from agriculture minister as part of the same reshuffle.

The appointment of Belousov, a veteran economic adviser, to the top defense job is being interpreted as a sign that Putin is looking to switch gears, more than two years into the war against Ukraine and just short of a year after a failed mutiny by mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin.

“This move allows Putin to keep Shoigu on side, while bringing in someone who may be able to deal with the impact of corruption across the Russian Ministry of Defense,” said Philip Ingram, a former British military intelligence colonel and NATO planner.

“Whoever is more open to innovation is the one who is victorious on the battlefield,” Peskov told journalists, commenting on the logic behind Belousov’s appointment.

Other key Putin allies, including Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov, have so far kept their roles in the reshuffle, which comes soon after Putin was sworn in for an unprecedented fifth term.

In a speech from the gilded throne room in the Kremlin, Putin claimed his re-election was proof Russian citizens “have confirmed the correctness of the country’s course” and recognition that “we are facing serious challenges.” The nationwide ballot in March was marred by reports of widespread vote rigging, the banning of international observers and the fact that opposition politicians had been barred from standing, forced into exile or, in the case of anti-corruption campaigner Alexei Navalny, died behind bars just weeks before the election.

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