The politics behind Russia’s military purge

Anatoly Serdyukov (left) with Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin at a military parade (photo: dpa)
Anatoly Serdyukov (left) with Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin at a military parade (photo: dpa)

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reason for the ousting relates to the games of power behind the scenes; the military leaders attempting to reform the outdated defence forces appear to have been defeated by the supporters of the traditional state-owned weapons manufacturers.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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