The replacement of Russia’s defence minister and its top general within days of each other was surrounded by allegations of corruption and a sex scandal. But the real reason for the ousting relates to the games of power behind the scenes; the military leaders attempting to reform the outdated defence forces appear to have been defeated by the supporters of the traditional state-owned weapons manufacturers.

UNTIL recently, Russia’s rebuilding of its tattered military machine appeared to be in full swing.

The ousting, on November 6, 2012, of Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov casts serious doubt on the future of such ambitions and suggests that a recon...

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Professor Stefan Hedlund
The new minister was bent on confrontation. He used insulting language, allegedly referring to the top military brass as ’little green men’ and brought in female colleagues from the Federal Tax Service in positions normally reserved for three-star generals
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