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Putin replaces longtime defense minister in surprise move; Russia claims gains as fighting rages in northeast Ukraine

·1 min


Putin Replaces Longtime Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu #

Russian President Vladimir Putin has reshuffled his government, moving his longtime ally Sergei Shoigu from the defense ministry to Russia’s powerful Security Council. Putin appointed Russian economist Andrei Belousov as the new defense minister. Shoigu will now serve as the secretary of the Security Council, replacing Nikolai Patrushev, another close Putin ally. The appointment of Belousov, a former minister of economic development, is seen as Putin’s effort to bolster Russia’s economy in light of increased defense spending. The Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov will remain in his position.