Headline RoundupMay 13th, 2024

Kremlin Doubles Down on Long Haul Approach in Ukraine with Cabinet Shakeup

Summary from the AllSides News Team

Russian President Vladimir Putin is replacing Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu with civilian economist Andrei Belousov in a rare cabinet shakeup that experts believe aims to make Russia’s war machine run more smoothly.

Shoigu’s Exit: Shoigu maintained his post for 12 years and is being retained as secretary of the Security Council, replacing longtime Putin ally Nikolai Patrushev. Analysts believed the writing was on the wall for Shoigu when his deputy Timur Ivanov was arrested on corruption charges last month.

Who Is Belousov?: Belousov is the son of a prominent Soviet economist and has previously served as minister of economic development, economic adviser to Putin, and most recently first deputy prime minister. He has no military experience, but those who know him have described him as “no-nonsense” and “not corrupted.”

What It Means: The move signals Russia’s doubling down on its attritional approach in Ukraine, which it hopes to wear down through a sustained effort on the battlefield.

Key Quotes: Alexandra Prokopenko, a former central bank official, said, “Belousov’s a prominent supporter of the role of industry in the economy, so he’s all for pumping the economy with cash via the defense sector.” An unnamed person who’s known Putin and Belousov for decades said, “Belousov… won’t pretend to lead the army like a general with all these medals. He’s a workaholic. He’s a technocrat. He’s very honest, and Putin knows him very well.”

How The Media Covered It: Sources across the spectrum noted Belousov’s appointment as unexpected but logical.

Featured Coverage of this Story

More headline roundups

AllSides Picks

More News about Russia from the Left, Center and Right

From the Left

From the Center

From the Right