Who is Andrei Belousov, the new Russian Defense Minister and close associate of Vladimir Putin?

Russian President Vladimir Putin submitted his list of nominations for ministers of the new government and heads of security services to the Russian Federation Council. Among the prominent names included in the list is the name of Andrei Belousov, who was named as the new Minister of Defense, succeeding Sergei Shoigu, who will be appointed as the new Secretary of the Russian Security Council. Although Andrei Belousov does not understand much in the world of war and weapons, Putin is counting on him a lot to develop military industries in Russia to win the war bets he declared on Ukraine. Who is this economist?

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The Russian President gave Vladimir Putin The green light on Sunday for the appointment of Andrei Belousov as the new Minister of Defense to succeed Sergei Shoigu. This comes at a tense time the Russian army From its air strikes on the city of Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine and its surrounding areas, with the aim of seizing new sites before a new batch of Western weapons and financial aid arrives to Ukraine.

This is the first time that a civilian has assumed the position of Minister of Defense since the fall of a regime soviet union. The goal is to allow the Ministry of Defense “to be open to innovation and pioneering ideas,” according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

Read alsoRussia: Putin dismisses Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and nominates civilian Andrei Belousov instead

Andrei Belousov is not new to the world of politics. Indeed, he previously served as First Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Mikhail Mishustin In the year 2020. He also served as acting Prime Minister for about 20 days, that is, from April 30, 2020 until May 19 of the same year.

Is Putin’s dismissal of Shoigu from the Russian Ministry of Defense an indication of the cooling relationship between the two old allies?

Mahmoud Al-Hamza - Shoigu dismissed

Mahmoud Al-Hamza – Shoigu dismissed © Screen capture from France 24

Although Andrei Belousov (65 years old) does not have any experience in the military field, Putin relies heavily on his political experience, precise knowledge of the economy, and his specialization in the field of manufacturing.

Belousov graduated from the Faculty of Economics of the University Moscow In 1981. From 2008 to 2012, he served as Director of the Department of Economics and Finance of the Russian Government when he was Vladimir Putin Prime Minister of this government in 2008 during the term of former President Medvedev.

Man of “Innovation and Investments in the Digital Field”

Andrei Belousov built strong relations with Putin when the latter was head of the Russian government, which made his star shine strongly, as evidenced by his appointment in 2012 as Minister of Economic Development until June 2013.

In 2020, he assumed the position of Special Advisor to the Palace Kremlin He got closer to President Putin.

Belousov is known for his openness to modernity and the digital economy. He is among those who influenced Putin in this field and convinced him to invest in the digital economy and virtual currencies such as Bitcoin and Blockchain.

For his part, a spokesman commented Kremlin Dmitry Peskov on Belousov’s appointment as head of the Ministry of Defense, saying: “Whoever today wants to be victorious on the battlefield must be more innovative.”

This is what Putin personally confirmed in one of his speeches when he said: “The Ministry of Defense must be open to innovation, to new and advanced ideas, and to economic competitiveness.” In addition to this statement, the Russian President urged those in charge of the military industry to innovate and produce weapons in large quantities in order to intensify attacks on Ukraine, which consume significant material, financial and humanitarian resources. While Andrei Belousov is considered the right man to carry out these tasks, as he understands well how the economy is going and has great inclinations towards innovation, innovation, and industrial and military development.

A photo of Russian President Vladimir Putin with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and his deputy Timur Ivanov in Kubinka near Moscow, September 19, 2018.
A photo of Russian President Vladimir Putin with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and his deputy Timur Ivanov in Kubinka near Moscow, September 19, 2018. © AFP/Archive

From June 2015 to September 2018, the new Russian Defense Minister served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the oil company Rosneft.

Production of advanced weapons in large quantities

Since 2022, he has also supervised the development of technologies for creating high-speed transportation vehicles, intelligent control systems and new generation transportation equipment. He also received the Medal of Honor in 2009 and was honored by the Russian President.

Andrei Belousov wrote a book entitled “The Development of a Reproduction System Russian economy“From Crisis to Development” (2006). Putin expects his new Defense Minister to give a strong impetus to the Russian army and provide it with advanced weapons in order to excel in the war he declared against Ukraine, before the arrival of winter and the military and financial aid that Western countries promised to provide in the coming days and months. For Kiev.

Read alsoRussia takes control of four Ukrainian towns and evacuates thousands of people from Kharkiv

Belousov was born on March 17, 1959 in Moscow in the family of the Soviet economist, participant in the development of economic reform in the 1960s, Rem Belousov (1926-2008).

In a tweet, Russian researcher Tatiana Stanovaya, a specialist in Russian politics at the Carnegie Institute, confirmed that the new Minister of Defense is not the one who will manage the field battles in Ukraine. This task will be assigned to the Chief of Staff of the Russian Forces, General Valery Gerasimov. Is the role of Andrei Belousov more about drawing up strategic plans than carrying out military missions? The answer will be revealed in the coming days.

Taher Hani

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