Who is Russia's new defence minister Andrei Belousov, and why did Putin appoint him?

Press quote (Euronews)
16 May 2024

“If Belousov can ensure that money is spent more efficiently, then the pressure on Ukraine is likely to grow, and the threat to the rest of Europe will also increase,” Ian Bond, deputy director at the Centre for European Reform (CER),  think-tank, told Euronews.

The new defence minister will also have two other functions, according to CER's Russia and EU foreign policy researcher. First, Belousov's ministry will act as a link between the increasingly militarised manufacturing sector and the armed forces - hence references to the importance of innovation, something Russia has struggled with. Secondly, his appointment marks a punctuation point amid a swirl of corruption charges affecting Russia's defence sphere.