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Former Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff of Russian Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov talk in December 2023. Both men now face ICC warrants for alleged war crimes.

Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via Reuters

Hard Numbers: ICC issues Russian warrants, Antelopes move en masse, Medical evacuations needed from Gaza, Vietnam’s expensive bean, Targeting gun violence, 'Squad' member ousted

2: The ICC on Tuesday issued arrest warrants for two key Russian military officials, former Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of General Staff Valery Gerasimov. The men stand accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity for their alleged involvement in strikes against Ukraine. Russia responded to the charges, calling them “null and void” – and, like Vladimir Putin, neither is expected to make the trip to The Hague anytime soon.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, and Chief of the Russian Land Forces Oleg Salyukov attend a military parade on Victory Day, in Moscow, on May 9, 2024.

Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via REUTERS

How high school explains Putin’s reshuffle

One way to look at Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to replace long-serving Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu with career economist Andrey Belousov is this: Since the invasion of Ukraine, Putin’s nerds have performed better than his jocks.

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FILE PHOTO: Participants, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, attend a military parade on Victory Day, which marks the 79th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two, in Red Square in Moscow, Russia, May 9, 2024.

REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/File Photo

Putin’s cabinet shakeup: Does it signal a new approach in Ukraine?

Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced significant changes to his senior military and political leadership as he begins his fifth term, including the reassignment of powerful Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.
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Russian Deputy Defence Minister Timur Ivanov inspects the construction of apartment blocks in Mariupol, Russian-controlled Ukraine, in this October 2022 image.

Russian Defence Ministry/Handout via REUTERS

Shocked! Russian deputy defense minister jailed for graft

Russian authorities this week detained a prominent deputy defense minister on corruption charges. Timur Ivanov, a long-standing close ally of Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, oversaw a wide variety of construction and logistics projects for the Russian armed forces, including in Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine.

Anti-corruption activists, including the outfit of late opposition leader Alexei Navalny, had long focused on Ivanov’s lavish lifestyle. This is the highest-profile corruption takedown since Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022.

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Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu chairs a meeting with the leadership of the Armed Forces in Moscow, on July 3, 2023.

Handout via Reuters

Russia: The “Scumbag” speaks!

Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on Monday made his first public comments about the mutiny that mercenary warlord Yevgeny Prigozhin — who had repeatedly called him a “scumbag” — led against him 10 days ago.

In a terse statement that he read from a piece of paper during a broader meeting of military personnel, Shoigu said the mutiny had failed because rank-and-file soldiers had “courageously and selflessly carried out the tasks assigned to them.”

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