Home Russia Putin Sacks Four Deputy Defence Ministers, Hands Job To Relative

Putin Sacks Four Deputy Defence Ministers, Hands Job To Relative

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FILE PHOTO: Russia's President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with the leadership of the Russian foreign ministry in Moscow. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

Russian President Vladimir Putin sacked four deputy defence ministers on Monday and appointed a relative to fill one of the resulting vacancies.

The reshuffle marked the latest stage in a radical shakeout which Putin launched in May when he unexpectedly removed his longstanding defence minister Sergei Shoigu.

Putin has used the changes to signal that he wants to clear out wastage and corruption in the ministry. He says he wants to harness Russia’s war economy more effectively to serve the needs of soldiers at the front.

Putin sacked deputy defence ministers Nikolai Pankov, Ruslan Tsalikov, Tatiana Shevtsova and Pavel Popov, according to Kremlin decrees.

He appointed Anna Tsivileva, the daughter of his late cousin, as a deputy defence minister. Her responsibilities will include improving social and housing support for military personnel. Her husband Sergei Tsivilev is Russia’s energy minister.

Putin had previously appointed Tsivileva as head of a state fund to support participants of Russia’s war effort in Ukraine.

Leonid Gornin, previously first deputy finance minister, will now serve as first deputy defence minister under Defence Minister Andrei Belousov. Belousov who is an economist with no military experience was named last month to replace Shoigu.

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Gornin’s main tasks are “to increase the transparency of financial flows and ensure efficient spending of budget funds.”

Also named as deputy defence ministers were Oleg Savelyev and Pavel Fradkov, the son of former Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov. Fradkov will oversee the management of property, land and construction relating to the military.

Another former deputy defence minister, Timur Ivanov, was arrested on April 23 and accused of bribe-taking. Since then, four other top officials at the ministry and general staff have been arrested on the same charges. This is the biggest corruption scandal to hit the Russian government in years.


With inputs from Reuters