Putin clears out deputy defense ministers, appoints relative

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Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday sacked four deputy defense ministers and appointed a relative, Anna Tsivileva, to fill one of the vacancies.

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Putin sacked deputy defense ministers Nikolai Pankov, Ruslan Tsalikov, Tatiana Shevtsova and Pavel Popov, according to Kremlin decrees. He appointed Tsivileva, who Russian media said is the daughter of Putin’s cousin, as a deputy defense minister.

Leonid Gornin, a deputy finance minister, will be a first deputy defense minister under Defense Minister Andrei Belousov.

Pavel Fradkov, the son of former Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov, was appointed a deputy defense minister. Oleg Savelyev was also appointed deputy defense minister.

After Putin last month appointed Belousov as defense minister and moved Sergei Shoigu to the Russian Security Council, the move appears to be an attempt to install loyalists in the defense ministry.

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