May 21, 2024

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Why Putin Decided to Reshape His Defense Structure Amid War Against Ukraine

Why Putin Decided to Reshape His Defense Structure Amid War Against Ukraine
Economist Andrei Belousov (Reuters via Sputnik/Alexander Astafyev/Kremlin)

Appointment of Economist Andriy Belousov Sign that Russia’s new defense minister is the president Vladimir Putin Ukraine is gearing up for a protracted conflict and betting on the war economy to win, analysts estimate.

It is now difficult to know whether the appointment of outgoing Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu as head of the National Security Council will be a demotion, while the future of his former boss Nikolai Patrushev is equally uncertain.

The reshuffle, announced days after Putin was re-elected for a fifth term in March elections condemned as a fraud by his opponents, comes as Russia steps up its offensive in northeastern Ukraine.

Andrei Belousov, 65, who has served as deputy prime minister of the economy since 2020, has no experience in the military or Russian security services.

His priority will be managing the defense budget Russia plans to reach 30% of total government spending.

Russia’s candidate for defense minister, Andrei Belousov (Handout via Council of the Russian Federation/REUTERS)

Putin “needs more progress towards a war economy and effective military spending, and one of the economic officials he most trusts is Andrei Belousov,” he told the agency. AFP Ben Noble is Associate Professor of Russian Politics at University College London.

One to explain at a rare conference on Sunday night The result surprised many viewersKremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Putin chose Peloso to ensure the Defense Ministry was open to “innovation.”

“Putin’s goal is to improve the efficiency of arms production and meet military needs,” wrote Tatiana Stanovaya, founder of the consulting firm R.Politik. “In this context, Pelozov is a logical choice,” he said.

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In Putin’s eyes, Pelozov has the perfect profile, subject to US, British and European sanctions.

“Peloso’s Appointment […] “This is the beginning of a critical audit and overhaul of all financial models.”Rybar mentions a Russian Telegram channel considered close to the military.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (Europe Press/Kavril Grigorov/Kremlin)

For analysts, the appointment indicates that the Kremlin is preparing Russia for a multi-year war against Ukraine, where the balance between arms supply and production will determine who wins.

“The bottom line is that Vladimir Putin is preparing for a protracted confrontation with the West”Nobel noted.

Pelozov is a firm believer in the theory that Russia is surrounded by a “circle of enemies” and was quoted as the only person in a group of economists to support the annexation of Crimea in 2014 by a Russian-language information site. bell.

The new roles of Sergei Shoigu and his predecessor Nikolai Patrishev as the new head of the Security Council are now considered uncertain.

ShoiguHe was a prominent figure in the Russian government before Putin came to power in the 1990s. He was always considered a companion of the President.

Sergei Shoigu (REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov)

But Wagner’s reputation was tarnished by criticism from his dead mercenary leader. Evgeny PrigogineHe was called “garbage” and Deputy Defense Minister Timur Ivanov was suspected of receiving bribes for his arrest.

However, his appointment as head of the Security Council shows that he is not completely excluded from the elite, although “it remains to be seen what his political and strategic role will be,” Ben Noble said.

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Nikolai Patrushev, whose public appearances were rare, was always considered an important figure and one of the best proponents of the “circle of enemies” theory.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he was fired for adopting “a new position” that would be announced “in the coming days.”

An independent adviser to different prime ministers between 2000 and 2006, Pelozov was in charge of, among other things, support operations for Russian companies during the first two years of the conflict in Ukraine.

A sign of a destroyed car in the yard of a collapsed apartment building after a Ukrainian attack in Belgorod, Russia (REUTERS)

His appointment to the defense front distances the ministry from battlefield decision-making and strengthens the authority of the Army General Staff, headed by General Valery Gerasimov.

“Army has always been the prerogative of the Chief of the General Staff, who continues his operations and no change in this regard is now contemplated”Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

(With information from AFP)