Putin removed Defense Minister Shoigu

Putin removed Defense Minister Shoigu

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Explaining the timing of the decision, the Kremlin said on Sunday it needed the Defense Ministry to remain “innovative.”

“The Defense Ministry should be absolutely open to innovation, to introducing all advanced ideas, to creating conditions for economic competitiveness,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said at a briefing on the appointments.

“Those who are more open to innovation win the battlefield,” Peskov said. “This is probably why the President has decided on the candidacy of Andrey Belousov,” he said.

Belousov, who has no military background, has been one of Putin's most influential economic advisers over the past decade.

Britain's Defense Minister Grant Shapps said the Ukraine conflict under Shoigu's watch had resulted in more than 355,000 Russian military casualties as well as “massive civilian casualties.”

“Russia needs a defense minister who will dismantle that destructive legacy” and end the conflict, he wrote on X, formerly Twitter, “but all they will get is Putin's puppet.”

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