Putin replaces Shoigu as Russia’s defense minister

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday replaced Sergei Shoigu as defense minister in a Cabinet shakeup that comes as he begins his fifth term in office.
In line with Russian law, the entire Russian Cabinet resigned Tuesday following Putin’s inauguration in the Kremlin, and most members have been widely expected to keep their jobs, while Shoigu’s fate had appeared uncertain, AP reported.
Putin signed a decree on Sunday appointing Shoigu as secretary of Russia’s Security Council, the Kremlin said. The appointment was announced shortly after Putin proposed Andrei Belousov to become the country’s defense minister in place of Shoigu.
The announcement of Shoigu’s new role came as 13 people were reported dead and 20 more wounded in Russia’s border city of Belgorod, where a 10-story apartment building partially collapsed after what Russian officials said was Ukrainian shelling. Ukraine hasn’t commented on the incident.
Belousov’s candidacy will need to be approved by Russia’s upper house in parliament, the Federation Council. It reported Sunday that Putin introduced proposals for other Cabinet positions as well but Shoigu is the only minister on that list who is being replaced. Several other new candidates for federal ministers were proposed Saturday by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, reappointed by Putin on Friday.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Sunday that Putin had decided to give the defense minister role to a civilian because the ministry should be “open to innovation and cutting-edge ideas.”
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