Putin Shakes Up Russian Politics With Sudden Change of the Guard

(NationRise.com) – Russian President Vladimir Putin officially removed Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on May 12, in what many political analysts have described as the most significant political shakeup that the Russian government has experienced in years. While some journalists have claimed that Putin might have taken the step sooner rather than later because of the lack of results in the war against Ukraine, many experts claim it was still shocking as Shoigu is one of his main allies.

In a statement published on every Russian media outlet, the Kremlin thanked Shoigu for his years of service and announced that Andrei Belousov would replace him. Political analysts such as Ian Bremmer and Fernando Diaz said that choosing Belousov was another unexpected move as he’s a former deputy prime minister whose area of expertise is economy instead of anything related to the military.

Diaz suggests that Putin has been growing impatient with the time it’s taking for the Russian military to overthrow President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s government after invading the country in February 2022. The political analysts also said that removing Shoigu was a way of “offering a head” to calm tensions in the Kremlin among some ministers who believe that someone should be held responsible for the lack of results.

In addition to removing the defense minister, Putin said in a televised speech that Shoigu will now replace Nikolai Patrushev as the head of the country’s security council. Shoigu has been one of the most important political figures in Putin’s Russia and the longest-serving minister since the president took power back in the late 1990s.

Shoigu became the defense minister back in 2012 after spending some years as Russia’s emergency services minister. Some journalists have described him as a close friend of Putin, the person who modernized the country’s armed forces, and a political leader who gained significant popularity after illegally annexing Crimea in 2014.

Copyright 2024, NationRise.com