Home Defense Move towards a war economy: Putin appoints ‘civilian’ Andrey Belousov as the Minister...

Move towards a war economy: Putin appoints ‘civilian’ Andrey Belousov as the Minister of Defense.

The Russian Federation Council announced on May 13 that Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed appointing former First Deputy Prime Minister Andrey Belousov as the Minister of Defense. Sergey Shoigu, who previously held this position, has been appointed Secretary of the Security Council.

“While the war rages in Ukraine, a significant reshuffle has involved the military leadership of Russia, with the appointment of Andrey Belousov as head of Defense in place of Sergei Shoigu, who is now appointed head of the Security Council.”On the battlefield today, he who is most open to innovation wins. Therefore, at this stage, the president has decided that a civilian will head the Ministry of Defense,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, explaining the decision of Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

Andrey Belousov has been in public service since 2006. From 2006 to 2008, he was Deputy Minister of Economic Development. From 2008 to 2012, he became director of the Department of Economics and Finance of the Russian government. From 2012 to 2013, he worked as Minister of Economic Development. In June 2013, Belousov became assistant to the president, and in June 2018, he was reassigned to this post. In January 2020, Andrei Belousov received the First Deputy Prime Minister position.

Andrey Belousov
Andrey Belousov

“We need to solve the bureaucratic problems that complicate the allocation of benefits to military personnel,” Belousov said in his first public address since his appointment, addressing the Federation Council, reports Ria Novosti. 

Already a deputy prime minister and long-time economic adviser to Putin, Belousov has promised to “work to provide housing for those involved in the special military operation,” a term used by Russian authorities to refer to the offensive in Ukraine. Speaking further about Russian military personnel engaged in Ukraine, Belousov emphasized the need to address their “healthcare assistance” because “military hospitals are overcrowded” and “they are too often denied admission to civilian hospitals.”

Shoigu’s long reign has been marked by continual accusations of inefficiency, wastefulness, and corruption, which became more apparent after the attack on Kyiv. Several weeks ago, one of Shoigu’s deputies, Timur Ivanov, was arrested on corruption charges. Observers interpreted this decision as a sign of power struggles within the Russian military and security apparatus.

Peskov highlighted the importance of integrating the military industry into the country’s economic system to adapt more quickly and effectively to constantly evolving dynamics.

“Russia has sent a strong signal to the West and Ukraine by appointing Andrey Belousov as the new head of the Ministry of Defense,” writes the German newspaper Berliner Zeitung. “The appointment of Andrey Belousov is an extremely alarming event for both Ukraine and the West,” the publication emphasized.

The publication claims that with such a reshuffle, Moscow is betting on rearmament and adapting the economy to a prolonged conflict. The article’s author added that the Kremlin does not intend to deviate from the planned course.



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