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06 November 2012
RUSSIA : 08 Nov UPDATE : ANALYSIS: Putin Fires Defense Minister Serdyukov During Corruption Probe; Failed Loyalty To Putin Ally Zubkov...Blamed.
In a surprising and swift move...President Vlad Putin axed his loyal Defense Minister of 6 years...Anatoly Serdyukov (above)...over a growing corruption scandal in his ministry.
Putin announced the sacking on TV...replacing Serdyukov with another loyal ally...Sergei Shoigu, 57 (Below).
Observers now speculate that Serdyukov erred by neglecting his patron and close Putin ally...Viktor Zubkov, 71...after the minister's marriage to Zubkov's daughter faltered.
It seems he broke the oath of loyalty to family and party.
Conveniently in October...a state controlled military contractor was raided in an investigation over the sale and loss of assets valued at $100 million.
Serdyukov was also caught-up in an embarrassing liaison with a female bureaucrat...conducted in a lavishly furnished apartment.
A former furniture store manager...Serdyukov, 50...had reportedly made enemies among the military and contractors because of brutal cost cutting.
He cut the armed forces by 300,000, reduced the officers corps by 40%...and slashed the number of generals and admirals by nearly 50%.
Along with Putin...he possessed nuclear launch codes...and controlled the lucrative 10 year...$729 billion...projected Russian defense budget.