Who is Russia’s new defense minister and what’s behind Putin’s wartime cabinet reshuffle?

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On Sunday, less than a week after his inauguration for the fifth six-year term, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, re-shuffled his entire cabinet, having launched a major offensive against Ukraine, as part of his war that crossed its third year mark earlier this year. The most significant change in this rare and unexpected move is Putin’s appointment, as the next minister of defense, of an economist, a civilian with no military background. 

One might conclude that Putin – whose press secretary Dmitriy Peskov declared a few weeks ago the objectives of Russia’s so-called “special military operation” in Ukraine have been achieved – has decided to keep the roughly 20% of Ukraine’s territory controlled by the Russian armed forces and call it a day,

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