Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Putin replaces defense minister amid corruption scandals

Russian President Vladimir Putin has appointed Andrey Belousov as the new Defense Minister, replacing Sergey Shoigu, amid widespread corruption allegations within the ministry.

Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesperson, stated that Putin’s decision to appoint a civilian as the defense minister reflects the need for transparency and innovation within the ministry. The recent string of corruption allegations involving Shoigu’s close associates has underscored the urgency of addressing systemic issues within the defense apparatus.

Sergey Shoigu, who has been in public service since 1991 and has held various high-ranking positions, including Minister of Defense since 2012, has come under intense scrutiny for corruption scandals plaguing the ministry.


Shoigu’s tenure as defense minister has been marred by accusations of corruption, with Alexei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption foundation claiming in 2015 that he owned a lavish mansion worth $18 million in the Moscow region. This revelation, among others, has sparked public outrage and calls for accountability within the defense establishment.

Recent arrests and investigations have further exposed the extent of corruption within the ministry, with Deputy Defense Minister Timur Ivanov being detained on suspicion of bribery. Additionally, Ruslan Tsalykov, Shoigu’s deputy, has been implicated in the corruption probe, signaling a broader crackdown on malfeasance within the defense establishment.

The British intelligence service has also highlighted the pervasive nature of corruption within the Russian Ministry of Defense, citing it as a significant concern.

Telegram channels affiliated with the Russian military have openly criticized Shoigu, attributing the failure of military operations, particularly the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, to his leadership.

“Shoigu couldn’t pass his most important exam in life – the special operation [as Russians call the war] in Ukraine.” wrote propaganda channel, Voennyi Osvedomitel

With widespread anticipation of administrative reforms and personnel changes, the future of Russia’s defense policy remains uncertain amidst growing internal challenges.

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Executive Editor

About author:

Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov is the editor-in-chief of Defence Blog. He is a journalist, an accredited defense advisor, and a consultant. His background as a defense advisor and consultant adds a unique perspective to his journalistic endeavors, ensuring that his reporting is well-informed and authoritative. read more



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