Newly appointed Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu began forming his team. On Thursday, it was reported that Chief of the Russian General Staff Nikolai Makarov filed resignation. According to some reports, Colonel-General Valery Gerasimov will work at this post. Sources in the Defence Ministry claimed the appointments will continue.
Former commander of the Airborne Troops Colonel-General Vladimir Shamanov will work as the first deputy defence minister, the Kommersant daily reported. The sources in the ministry noted the president is expected to sign a relevant decree soon, after that these appointments will be made public. The media named other candidates on these key issues, but the Defence Ministry is convinced that Gerasimov and Shamanov will become Shoigu’s deputies.
The newspaper reported that Valery Gerasimov’s comeback in the General Staff was promoted by the fact that Sergei Shoigu wanted to see a general with the real combat experience at this post. Gerasimov fits these criteria: from 1998 to March 2003 he served on the command posts in the 58th Army in the North Caucasus Military District.
At first the reshuffles will not be made only among the commanders of various arms of troops, the RBC daily reported. Female officials from Serdyukov’s team are already about to be dismissed. “First of all, Deputy Defence Minister Tatiana Shevtsova, who is in charge of the financial issues, will be dismissed, then several female heads of departments and directorates will be dismissed,” a source in the Defence Ministry told the newspaper. Those, who were fired by Serdyukov for the abuse of office, on the contrary, can be reinstated. One of the latest significant dismissals in the Defence Ministry became the dismissal of Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky from the post of the commander of the Russian Navy in May 2012. He is not dismissed from the military service yet and is under subordination to the minister. The reason for his dismissal was his discontent with the relocation of the Russian naval headquarters from Moscow in St. Petersburg.
Meanwhile, a purge in Serdyukov’s team in the Defence Ministry will probably not be so quick, as it seems to be at first sight, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily noted. Under his last decree as the defence minister Anatoly Serdyukov fired all his aides and advisers, the sources in the Defence Ministry told the newspaper. After Serdyukov’s dismissal a contract for management of the directorates and departments in the Defence Ministry was cancelled with most female officials, who Serdyukov appointed on key financial, educational, inspection and social posts in the ministry. Now under the law they are acting officials and should help a new team of Sergei Shoigu to deal in the current affairs.