Putin Unveils Dramatic Reshuffling Of Closest Advisors: Shoigu Out As Defense Minister

ER Editor: As ever, Simplicius has interesting analysis on the Russian cabinet reshuffle. See —

Putin’s Cabinet Shakeup Stumps Western Intelligentsia

Simplicius mainly looks at two issues: a) the replacement of Shoigu as defense minister – a promotion to be head of the nation’s security council, or a demotion (and thus getting rid of the Shoigu influence, e.g. Timur Ivanov)?;  b) what it means to have an economics expert and non-military replacement Andrei Belousov (see featured image) in his place. Belousov at 65 is also relatively young on this aging landscape.

In sum, Simplicius has this to say:

In general, I view it cautiously as a very positive development. I have been outspoken in the past about the fact that much of Russia’s military structure at the onset of the SMO was a rusty, sometimes decrepit and even corrupt, carryover from the past. Years of low intensity operation or no hostilities generally results in the buildup of laziness, useless generals who stuff their pockets or sit on positions they view as sinecures rather than meritoriously earning their keep.

All this gets cleaned out by virtue of necessity—and an existential conflict brings necessity like no other. Since the beginning, Putin has been slowly clearing out the calcified structures, upwardly promoting and mobilizing deserving men to replace the hangers-on from the dusty ages of long time past. This is a continual and unending process, but it has bore fruit and today we see its ongoing progression. The spring renewal of change and adaptation is a good thing.

It smells like ‘swamp-draining’.


Putin Unveils Dramatic Reshuffling Of Closest Advisors: Shoigu Out As Defense Minister

Tyler Durden's Photo TYLER DURDEN

Russian state media is confirming a huge breaking development that President Putin has removed his longtime Defense Minister and personal friend Sergei Shoigu as defense chief, who has overseen the Ukraine war since its beginning in Feb. 2022. He will now serve as head of the nation’s security council.

“Sergei Shoigu is likely to lose the post of Minister of Defense of Russia to acting First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov,” English-language RT is reporting. “His candidacy was proposed by President Vladimir Putin, the Federation Council announced on Sunday.”

Putin has also reportedly dismissed Secretary of the Security Council Nikolai Patrushev, according to Interfax.

This appears in order to shuffle Shoigu into that position. Putin has now appointed Shoigu as new Secretary of the Russian Security Council. Likely Patrushev is also being moved to another position too.

The proposed candidate for new defense chief, Belousov, has a background in Russia’s central bank and economics and finance…

Below is some background on Belousov and his last two decades of government experience, though specific military decision-making or army experience on a strategic level appears to be absent, interestingly:

2000‒2006: General Director, Centre for Macroeconomic Analysis and Short-Term Forecasting.

2000‒2006: External adviser to the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation.

2006‒2008: Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Deputy Minister of Economic Development.

2008‒2012: Director, Government Department of Economy and Finance.

2012‒2013: Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation.

2013‒2020: Presidential Aide.

21 January 2020: First Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, appointed by executive order of the President of Russia.

Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov addressed this lack of military experience as follows in a late Sunday press briefing:

Explaining Shoigu’s replacement with a non-military official, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said it was “natural” for Putin to decide that a civilian official to head the Defense Ministry.

“The Defense Ministry must be absolutely open to innovation, to introduce advanced ideas and to create conditions for economic competitiveness — that’s why the president chose the candidacy of Andrei Removich Belousov,” Peskov told reporters.

According to more details of Putin’s big reshuffling via RT:

Senators are scheduled to engage in consultations regarding the nominees put forth by the president during committee sessions on May 13 and during a Federation Council meeting on May 14, as announced by the upper house of the Russian parliament.

No further alterations have been made to the roster of candidates Putin has submitted for cabinet positions. His nominations include Vladimir Kolokoltsev for the position of interior minister, Alexander Kurenkov for minister of emergency situations, Sergey Lavrov for foreign minister, and Konstantin Chuichenko for justice minister.

Denis Manturov, who served as deputy prime minister and head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade during Putin’s last term in office, has been nominated for the position of first deputy prime minister.

And TASS has this further confirmation and backgrounder on Belousov (machine translation)…

“Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed the candidacy of Andrei Belousov for the post of Minister of Defense, which was previously held by Sergei Shoigu. This is stated in a message on the Telegram channel of the Federation Council. In the previous government, Belousov worked as first deputy prime minister.”

“65-year-old Belousov at various times held the positions of assistant to the head of state Vladimir Putin on economic issues, Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, director of the Department of Economics and Finance of the Government of the Russian Federation, general director of the Center for Macroeconomic Analysis and Short-Term Forecasting, and worked at the Russian Academy in 1981-2006 Sciences (until 1991 – USSR Academy of Sciences). From April 30 to May 19, 2020, during Mishustin’s hospitalization with coronavirus infection, Belousov served as acting head of the Cabinet.”



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