Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Putin Sacks Defense Minister amid Scandal

President Vladimir Putin fired Russia's Defense Minister over corruption allegations on Tuesday, the latest twist in an unfolding saga of power, money and suspected adultery at the heart of the Kremlin. Putin announced on television that he had fired Anatoly Serdyukov, once seen as one of the President's most loyal courtiers, but lately a liability amid allegations that the military sold off assets cheaply to insiders. "Taking into consideration the situation around the Defense Ministry, in order to create conditions for an objective investigation into all matters, I have decided to remove Defense Minister Serdyukov from his post," Putin said. Serdyukov's replacement will be Sergei Shoigu, recently named governor of the Moscow region and known as a popular and loyal Putin ally during nearly two decades as head of the Emergencies Ministry. The Defense Minister wields immense power in Russia, channeling billions of dollars every year through the country's powerful defense industry, the second largest arms exporter in the world.


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