Putin set to replace Shoigu as Russia's defence minister

Russian President Vladimir Putin has proposed a surprise new defence minister, nominating civilian Andrei Belousov, a former deputy prime minister who specialises in economics, for the job more than two years into the Ukraine war, the Kremlin said.

Putin wants Sergei Shoigu, defence minister since 2012 and a long-standing ally, to become the secretary of Russia's powerful Security Council, replacing incumbent Nikolai Patrushev, and to also have responsibilities for the military-industrial complex, the Kremlin announced on Sunday.

The changes, certain to be approved by parliamentarians, are the most significant Putin has made to the military command since sending tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine in February 2022 in what he called a special military operation.

The shake-up gives Shoigu a job that is technically regarded as senior to his defence ministry role, ensuring continuity and saving Shoigu's face.

Read morePutin's defence chief Shoigu survived Wagner’s challenge – but for how long?

"The one who is more open to innovations is the one who will be victorious on the battlefield," Peskov said.

Read more on FRANCE 24 English

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