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Putin replaces defense minister

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday proposed replacing Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu with former vice prime minister Andrei Belousov, according to an official post by the Federation Council, Russia’s upper house of parliament, on Telegram.

Shoigu was appointed to lead the Kremlin’s security council, Russian state media reported, citing spokesperson Dmitry Peskov.

The announcement comes days after Putin began his fifth term as president.

The shakeup also comes as Russia launched a new major offensive Friday in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region, forcing Ukrainian troops to reposition and defend against a new front. Russia continues to put intense pressure on Ukrainian forces across the frontline, making critical advances in the Donetsk region after a monthslong delay of new U.S. military aid to Kyiv.

Shoigu’s reassignment comes after his deputy, Timur Ivanov, was arrested and is under investigation for taking a large bribe, according to Russian state media.

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