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ISW analyzes why Putin removed Shoigu from post of Defense Minister

13 May, 2024 Monday
10:29

ISW believes that Vladimir Putin has replaced Sergei Shoigu with Andrei Belousov as Russia's Defense Minister in preparation for a protracted war in Ukraine and a future confrontation with NATO

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The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reports.

“These high-level reshuffles following the Russian presidential election strongly suggest that Putin is taking significant steps towards mobilizing the Russian economy and defense industrial base (DIB) to support a protracted war in Ukraine and possibly prepare for a future confrontation with NATO. According to an unnamed Russian federal official, in his new position, Belousov will work to “competently organize work and logistics processes, ensure the necessary production and supplies, orient the economy towards a "special military operation" and squeeze the technological maximum out of the defense industry,'' said ISW analysts.

According to the American Institute for the Study of War, Belousov's appointment as Russia's Defense Minister is “a significant step in Putin's efforts to create all the economic conditions for a protracted war,” as he, despite having no combat experience, worked in economic analysis and forecasting in 1981-2006 and became Russia's minister of economic development in 2012-2013.

Belousov then served as First Deputy Prime Minister from 2020 until his new appointment in 2024. 

Several Russian insider sources have said that Belousov's appointment as defense minister shows that Putin is seriously concerned about the level of corruption and misuse of funds in the Russian army.

According to an unnamed Russian federal official, in his new position, Belousov will work to “competently organize work and logistics processes, ensure the necessary production and supplies, orient the economy towards a "special military operation" and squeeze the technological maximum out of the defense industry.”

  • On May 12, Sergei Shoigu resigned as head of the Russian Defense Ministry.
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