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Putin Proposes Andrei Belousov As Defense Minister - Infographic

Russian President Vladimir Putin has nominated civilian economist Andrei Belousov as his new defense minister, replacing long-standing ally Sergei Shoigu.

Photo by Michael Parulava / Unsplash

The move is seen as an attempt to prepare Russia for economic war by better utilizing the defense budget and harnessing greater innovation to win in Ukraine.

Belousov, a 65-year-old former deputy prime minister who specializes in economics, shares Putin’s vision of rebuilding a strong state and has also worked with the Russian leader’s top technocrats who want greater innovation and are open to new ideas.

Putin wants Shoigu, in charge of defense since 2012, to become the secretary of Russia’s powerful Security Council, replacing incumbent Nikolai Patrushev. The Kremlin also wants Shoigu to have responsibilities for the military-industrial complex.

Patrushev will get a new, as yet unannounced, job.

The changes, certain to be approved by parliamentarians, are the most significant Putin has made to the military command since sending tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine in February 2022 in what he called a special military operation, according to Reuters.