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Putin brings in an economist to lead the defense in an unexpected way

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday recommended a civilian economist as his surprise new defense minister in an effort to prepare Russia for economic war by trying to better utilize the defense budget and leverage more innovation to win in Ukraine.

More than two years after the start of the conflict, which has cost both sides heavy losses, Putin has proposed to Andrei Belousov, a 65-year-old former deputy prime minister who specializes in economics, to replace his long-time ally, Sergei Shoigu, 68. as Minister of Defense.

Putin wants Shoigu, in charge of defense since 2012 and a long-time friend and ally, to become the secretary of Russia’s powerful Security Council, replacing the incumbent Nikolai Patrushev, and also to be given responsibilities for the military-industrial complex, it said Kremlin.

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