‘New Russian defense minister consists of distrust, Putin likes that’

‘New Russian defense minister consists of distrust, Putin likes that’
‘New Russian defense minister consists of distrust, Putin likes that’
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InternationalMay 13 ’24 11:45Author: Mark van Harreveld

The new Russian Defense Minister, Andrei Belusov, has a KGB background and ‘consists of distrust’, and that appeals to Putin, says BNR’s foreign commentator Bernard Hammelburg. ‘Belusov has an incredible distrust of everything that is not Russian and certainly of everything that is European.’

‘New Russian Defense Minister consists of distrust, Putin likes that’

8 min 14 sec

Like his boss Putin, Belusov comes from the KGB. ‘That also appeals to Putin.’ ‘But above all it is someone who consists of distrust. (ANP/Associated Press)

That is not the only reason why Belusov’s predecessor Sergei Shoigu has to resign after twelve years and is promoted to the position of secretary of the Russian Security Council. According to Hammelburg, Sjojgoe’s dismissal had been in the air for some time. Not only is he largely responsible for the complete fiasco that the invasion of Ukraine ultimately became, the feud with and the coup of Wagner boss Prigozhin also made Shoigu’s position untenable. For example, Wagner’s march on Moscow was explicitly aimed at the Minister of Defense. “No one is surprised he disappears.”

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Better an economist than a soldier

Shoigu survived crisis after crisis, but was eventually forced to leave the field when a new government took office and due to a corruption scandal within Shoigu’s department. It is significant that Putin has chosen an economist as his successor. It means that he realizes how closely war and economics are intertwined. ‘Russia has really become a complete war economy at the moment. Almost eight percent of the total budget in Russia now goes to Defense. That is really extremely high and the reasoning is that a good economist in that department is more useful than a soldier.’

Also read | Russian Defense Minister Shoigu makes way for economist Belusov

Former KGB man is distrust itself

According to Hammelburg, Beloesov must not only make Defense more efficient, but also fight corruption. ‘There is far too much money hanging in the balance, which is logical because it concerns enormous amounts of money that Russia is currently investing in its defense.’

Finally, what also plays an important role is the man’s character. Like his boss Putin, Belusov comes from the KGB. ‘That appeals to Putin.’ ‘It is mainly someone who consists of distrust. He has such incredible distrust of everything that is not Russian and certainly of everything that is European. Putin likes that.’

Also read | ‘New defense minister must clear the backlog of Russian arms production’

The fact that Belusov has no military background does not play a role, Hammelburg thinks. More importantly, he ‘tightens things economically’, communicates well with Putin (read: follows his orders) and that he has more distance from Putin. After all, Shoigu and Putin are also very good friends.

The article is in Dutch

Tags: Russian defense minister consists distrust Putin likes

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