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    “Putin Employs Technocrat to Boost Russia’s Military Might”


    Putin Appoints Belousov to Lead Russia's Defense Strategy Amidst Ukraine Conflict

    In a significant shakeup of Russia’s defense and security leadership, President Vladimir Putin has named Andrey Belousov, a former economy aide and First Deputy Prime Minister, as the new defense minister. This move underscores Putin’s intent to ramp up Russia’s war economy for an extended conflict in Ukraine against the West.

    Belousov’s appointment comes as a surprise late-night maneuver by Putin, replacing Sergei Shoigu, who had served as defense minister since 2012. Shoigu is now being transferred to the role of secretary of Russia’s security council, succeeding Nikolai Patrushev, a longtime ally of Putin who has been dismissed from his position.

    The decision to appoint Belousov, known for advocating greater state control of the economy, reflects Putin’s focus on enhancing efficiency in military procurement and operations. This move has been likened to the Soviet-era state-planning system, signaling a shift towards a more centralized approach in managing Russia’s defense resources.

    The reshuffle in Russia’s defense leadership comes amidst ongoing military operations in Ukraine, with Russian troops advancing in the northeastern Kharkiv region. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has described the situation as “extremely difficult,” highlighting the intensity of the conflict.

    Putin’s determination to achieve strategic goals in Ukraine is evident, with the defense overhaul coinciding with his upcoming visit to China for talks with President Xi Jinping. This visit underscores the importance of Russia’s alliance with Beijing amid Western sanctions targeting Russia’s economy.

    Belousov’s appointment signifies a focus on economic competitiveness within Russia’s defense sector, as state spending on defense and security reaches historically high levels. The shift towards a war economy is seen as a response to the escalating conflict dynamics and the need to maximize the impact of defense spending.

    The Kremlin’s broader strategic approach, including continuity in key positions such as foreign minister and heads of security agencies, reflects Putin’s long-term vision amidst geopolitical challenges and internal transformations.

    Sources By Agencies

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