Putin set to move Sergei Shoigu as Russia's defence minister in cabinet shuffle

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin is set to replace Sergei Shoigu as defence minister.

Sergei Shoigu, a long-standing ally of Putin will be moved to another role, as the head of Russia's national security council.

Mr Shoigu will replace Nikolai Patrushev in his new role, whose new job will be announced soon, the Kremlin said.

The appointment was announced shortly after Putin proposed Andrei Belousov to become the country’s defence minister in place of Shoigu.

The shuffle could be seen as an attempt by Mr Putin to scrutinise defence spending after a Shoigu ally, deputy defence minister Timur Ivanov, was accused by state prosecutors of taking a bribe.

Defence secretary Grant Shapps said Shoigu had a "disastrous legacy". Credit: PA

Commenting on Mr Shoigu's removal, the UK's defence minister Grant Shapps said he had a "disastrous legacy".

“Sergei Shoigu has overseen over 355k casualties amongst his own soldiers and mass civilian suffering with an illegal campaign in Ukraine.

“Russia needs a Defence Minister who would undo that disastrous legacy & end the invasion – but all they’ll get is another of Putin’s puppets.”

The reshuffle of the military command is the most significant Mr Putin has undertaken since his full-scale invasion of Ukraine began in February 2022.

The announcement came amid Russia’s renewed armoured push across the border in north-eastern Ukraine.

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