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Why Putin axed Shoigu

May 14

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On Monday, May 13, Russian President Vladimir Putin replaced Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu with Andrei Belousov. It was a surprising move to some observers, as Putin had previously refused to oust Shoigu from that position even after the Wagner Group rebelled against Shoigu specifically. Others, like Straight Arrow News contributor Peter Zeihan, predicted this move ahead of time.

Watch the video above for Zeihan’s analysis just hours before the replacement was confirmed by Russian officials.

The following is an excerpt from Peter’s May 14 “Zeihan on Geopolitics” newsletter:

Well, I hate to say it, but Putin might actually be making a solid strategic move by removing Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu from office.

Like most things in Russia, getting a seat at the table is all about who you know; that’s exactly what happened with Putin’s ole buddy Shoigu. Since he became defense minister, he’s been widely criticized as a significant hindrance to Russia’s success in the Ukraine war — you know, mostly because he didn’t have any military experience and was shelling out defense budget to his cronies.

It appears that removing Shoigu from office is part of a broader trend of Russia becoming a more conventional power, so maybe they’ll even learn their lesson and put someone with experience in office.

Everyone, I’m here to resign here coming to you for cars in Poland. The news today is that Russian President Vladimir Putin is apparently publicly musing about the idea of replacing the defense minister Sergei Shoigu. with somebody else. I can’t emphasize enough that this would be the single biggest shift in the Ukraine war today because Shoigu is arguably the the least competent, public servant in the world at the moment. The only reason he got the job as defense minister is because he’s a buddy of Putin is going back to his days in East Germany. He doesn’t know what he’s doing. He has no military experience. The only he is good at is stealing. Maybe 1/3 of the appropriation budgets for the years of fees have been defense minister had gone to him personally. And a number of third have gone to his cronies. So he is probably the single biggest factor in play right now why the Russians have not been doing well in Ukraine war. And if he were to be sacked and replaced with like an average third grader who doesn’t even speak Russian, there would probably be a significant increase in Russia’s capacity to prosecute this for so it’s Russian cronyism, in many ways, has been helping Ukrainians consistently. And we’re now at the beginnings of seeing the Russians kind of turn the page and become more of a normal power. Every every every Russian war in history starts as a disaster because the corruption is endemic to the Russian system, crushes a system there’s no morale was no sense of camaraderie, and the logistics are awful. And then bit by bit by bit, the Russians tend to rally slowly sloppily, never even reaching what you would consider to be the global average, but improving nonetheless. And we’ve seen that in tactics. We’ve seen that in logistics. We’re seeing that in weapon systems that it’s very possible that we will now see that in leadership for tonight.

 

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