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Preparing for World War III? Kremlin Cabinet Shake-Up Signals Putin May Extend 'Special Military Operation' Beyond Ukraine

Putin's Shift: Likelihood of War Expanding Beyond Ukraine Increases
Source: MEGA

The priorities for Vladimir Putin seem to have changed, according to sources.

May 15 2024, Published 11:03 a.m. ET

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Vladimir Putin's dismissal of his defense minister signals that the Kremlin is preparing for World War III, according to a prominent Russian dissident.

Over the weekend, Putin disrupted Russia's political landscape by removing some of his closest allies. One significant figure ousted was Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, who was replaced by Andrei Belousov.

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Shoigu had faced severe criticism for his management of the war, which has so far resulted in only minor territorial gains at the cost of thousands of Russian soldiers' lives, reports the Express.

Belousov, formerly the first deputy prime minister, is a trusted advisor to Putin, particularly on economic matters. Known for his opposition to free markets, he advocates for nationalizing the economy and increasing business taxes, reminiscent of Soviet-era policies.

Ilya Ponomarev, a leading anti-Putin activist, interprets this move as a clear indication that the Kremlin is gearing up for a prolonged conflict likely extending beyond Ukraine.

He stated, "I think his priorities changed. He does not believe in military breakthroughs any longer. And a war of attrition needs a strong industrialist as the top manager. Military decisions will be made by Putin himself."

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Ponomarev further explained that Putin's cabinet reshuffle suggests a long-term commitment to warfare, potentially involving the Baltic States and Poland.

He emphasized that Belousov's appointment signifies a continued focus on militarizing the economy for the long haul.

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In another significant change, Nikolai Patrushev was removed from his role as Secretary of the Security Council of Russia. Ponomarev views this as a strategic move by Putin to eliminate any threats of rebellion within his ranks.

"He kept balance by firing Patrushev, who just attacked Shoigu recently (Ivanov’s arrest), but promoted Patrushev-junior at the same time," Ponomarev noted.

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