Russian President Vladimir Putin sacked his defense minister after the ministry was ensnared in a corruption scandal.
Anatoly Serdyukov, the fired minister, is being replaced with Putin ally Sergei Shoigu, the former emergency situations minister, it was reported by state-run RT on Tuesday.
Serdyukov’s was involved in a controversy involving corrupt property deals, RT said. Prime Minister Medvedev described him as “an efficient defense minister.”
Specifically, the ministry is accused being involved in alleged real estate scams involving Oboronservis, a state run defense firm, reported state-run RIA Novosti.
The Russian Investigative Committee, which is similar to the FBI, said that a fraud investigation into Oboronservis’s operations found that it contributed to some $95 million in damages to the state, according to the broadcaster. Serdyukov oversaw the firm until 2011.
“Taking into consideration the situation that has emerged regarding the defense ministry, in order to create the requisite conditions for an objective investigation of all the issues, I made the decision to relieve Defense Minister Serdyukov of his duties,” Putin said, according to RIA Novosti.
Shoigu said his appointment as head of the defense ministry was unexpected.
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