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A senior official is detained within the Russian Ministry of Defense.

Putin's advances persist.

Putin cleans up the Ministry of Defense in Moscow.
Putin cleans up the Ministry of Defense in Moscow.

A senior official is detained within the Russian Ministry of Defense.

A big shake-up is happening at the Russian Ministry of Defense. Not only has President Putin let go of his long-time minister Shoigu, but now another senior official in the ministry is in trouble.

General Yuri Kuznetsov, the person in charge of personnel matters at the Russian Ministry of Defense, has been arrested on suspicion of engaging in criminal activities, according to a source close to Russian security circles as reported by TASS. It's being investigated by the main military investigative body of the Russian Investigative Committee. Rybar, a popular blogger site, speculates that this might be connected to his time working in the Russian General Staff, where he handled classified information.

Before this, Deputy Defense Minister Timur Ivanov was already under investigation. He got arrested in April, facing charges of accepting huge bribes. This is considered one of the biggest corruption cases in Russia since their invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

Putin went on to make various changes in the Russian defense sector on Monday. He dismissed Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, who had been in office since 2012, and replaced him with economist Andrey Beloussov. Shoigu was then reappointed as the Secretary of the National Security Council.

US notices "desperation" in Putin

Shoigu's dismissal is seen as a sign of Putin's "desperation" over the financial burden of the war in Ukraine by the US. "We believe this is another indication of Putin's desperation to continue his aggressive campaign against Ukraine," said US State Department spokesman Vedant Patel.

This war has placed a major strain on the Russian economy and Russian forces have experienced significant losses. Some projections suggest as many as 315,000 casualties, Patel said. "Russia started this unwarranted war against Ukraine," he added, reminding Putin that he could end it anytime by pulling out his troops from Ukraine.

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