Defence Minister dismissed by Putin

As reported by the BBC on 6 November 2012, President Vladimir Putin has sacked Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, with immediate effect. Serdyukov had become one of the clan at the top through close personal links, but recently fell out with his father-in-law, former Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov. These could have planted the seeds for his downfall.

Brought in to run the Armed Forces despite a lack of experience in the sector, it had been claimed that he would root out corruption, using his knowledge from running the Federal Tax Service.

Unfortunately it now appears that he may only have exacerbated the already high level of corruption in the Armed Forces, with Russian investigators raiding the offices of a military contractor (Oboronservice) in connection with allegations that the state-owned firm had been selling assets to for-profit organisations at a loss (amounting to an estimated GBP 62.5 million).

Serdyukov has been replaced by a Putin ally Sergey Shoigu, previously Minister of Emergency Situations (from 1994 to 2012) and until now Governor of Moscow Oblast. He holds the military rank of General of the Army.

It should be noted here that Serdyukov was sacked by Putin, and not Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

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