Putin to replace Shoigu as Russia’s defense minister

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President Putin has proposed Andrey Belousov as the new defence minister, while suggesting that Sergei Shoigu should take on the role of secretary of the Security Council. This cabinet reshuffle comes as Putin begins his fifth term in office, with the entire cabinet resigning after his inauguration. Belousov, a former deputy prime minister with a background in economics, will need approval from the Federation Council to take on the position. Shoigu, who has served as defence minister since 2012, may be facing dismissal following the arrest of his deputy on bribery charges. Kremlin spokesman Peskov stated that Putin believes a civilian like Belousov would bring fresh ideas and innovation to the defence ministry. The reshuffle coincides with Russia’s ongoing ground offensive in northeastern Ukraine, with thousands of civilians fleeing the violence. The town of Vovchansk has become a key battleground in the conflict.

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