Home Business News Putin could be preparing for ‘future confrontation with NATO’ by appointing a new defence chief

Putin could be preparing for ‘future confrontation with NATO’ by appointing a new defence chief

13th May 24 3:57 pm

Vladimir Putin’s reshuffle could mean that he is preparing for “future confrontation with NATO” a US think tank believes.

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) has warned that Putin sacking Sergei Shoigu and replacing him with Andrei Belousov suggests there will be a protracted war by preparing the economy and boosting the military.

Belousov has no military experience and is now in charge of Russia’s defence, given his background in technology this will prove “extremely valuable to the Kremlin.”

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The ISW said, “These high-level reshuffles following the Russian presidential election strongly suggest that Putin is taking significant steps towards mobilising the Russian economy and defence industrial base to support a protracted war in Ukraine and possibly prepare for a future confrontation with NATO.”

“The Kremlin has recently had to reckon with a gap between Russian drone production and contemporary battlefield realities,” and this is where Belousov will prove useful for the military and the Kremlin on the frontlines.

Sky News Moscow correspondent Ivor Bennett said that be Putin removing Shoigu and the security council chief Nikolai Patrushev is for the perceptions of the economics of war.

Bennett said, “Both were very close Putin aides, they had been in post a very long time and this comes at a time when Russia has the upper hand on the battlefield – that’s why it is so shocking, so baffling, so why did Putin do it?

The Kremlin is wanting tighter control on defence spending and under Shoigu this rose to 6.6% of Russia’s GDP.

Bennett added, “There is a perception that the ministry of defence under Shoigu has not been as frugal as it could be, to say the least.

“There are also allegations of corruption.”

By appointing Belousov who is also an economist, this “tells you that Russia, right now, wants to ensure that the military-industrial complex is operating as efficiently as possible,” Bennett said.

The entire economy here is geared around the war, geared around the military.

“Putin clearly wants to make sure Russia can continue to fight his war for as long as he wants.”

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