Ukrainian interior ministry advisor explains why Putin cannot remove Shoigu
Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu at a military exhibition in Moscow, August 15, 2022 (Photo:REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov)
Russian dictator Vladimir Putin will not remove Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu from his post over fears of increasing the political influence of the FSB security service, Vadym Denysenko, an advisor to Ukraine's Interior Minister, told Radio NV on Oct. 9.
“Of course, they (FSB) aren’t as important as Putin himself, of course, they can hardly be people who claim to have the influence of Putin’s level,” the advisor said.
“But judging by the complimentary statements made by (Chechen warlord Ramzan) Kadyrov, we can say that it’s obvious that the degree of their criticism (I mean both Kadyrov and Yevgeny Prigozhin, who is the owner of Russia’s Wagner mercenary company) of the Ministry of Defense, of the leadership of the so-called ‘special military operation’ may decline somewhat.”
“Although I think they’ll continue to criticize Shoigu and (Chief of the Russian General Staff Valery) Gerasimov, but at this moment I can clearly say that Shoigu kept his position, including thanks to the blowing up of the Crimean bridge.”
Commenting on the reports of the detention of top military personnel in Moscow, Denysenko said it is necessary to wait for the further course of events and take into account Putin’s fear of enhancing the political influence of certain groups.
“We’ll have to look at the development of events, but we can clearly say that it’s obvious for the population (which more or less follows the events)that it’s necessary to replace the Russian military leadership because it has failed,” he said.
“Fortunately, Putin is not going to make any changes for us yet. He understands there are two groups of influence that can theoretically organize ‘palace coups’ — the army and the FSB.”
“Strengthening the FSB now by removing Shoigu, Gerasimov, and appointing people from their entourage would mean (Putin) weakening himself. That’s why Putin did not resort to any drastic moves. He made (certain reshuffles) and appointed (Sergey) Surovikin, who met the approval both by Shoigu and the Kadyrov and Prigozhin troops, the FSB, etc.”
Putin on Oct. 8 appointed General Sergey Surovikin commander of the Russian Federation forces in Ukraine.
According to the UK Ministry of Defense, “for over 30 years, Surovikin’s career has been dogged with allegations of corruption and brutality.”
The reasons for Putin’s move were not announced. However, experts believe it was probably related to the Russian army’s failures in Ukraine.
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