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Putin Sacks Defense Minister Over Corruption Charges



MOSCOW - Russian President Vladimir Putin has dismissed Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov and replaced him with a loyal political ally after his ministry was involved in a corruption scandal.

Putin's decision appears to be connected to a probe announced by the Russia’s top investigative agency two weeks ago.

Agents of the Investigative Committee raided the offices of a state-controlled military contractor and opened an investigation into the company on suspicion that it had sold military and real estate assets to commercial firms at a loss of three billion rubles ($95 million), according to Reuters.

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Anatoly Serdyukov (Defense Dept. photo by Cherie A. Thurlby)

BBC News reports that in the six years that Anatoly Serdyukov had been defense minister, he had tried to crack down on widespread corruption and attempted to reform Russia's outdated armed forces – not without making enemies along the way.

Putin announced his decision at a meeting with the governor of the Moscow region Sergei Shoigu, whom he appointed as the new defense minister, BFM.ru reports. Shoigu, a former Minister of Emergency Situations is also a former general -- a background likely to win him the respect of the military.

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Photo of Tarragona’s “Correfocs” (fire runners) setting off their fireworks amid a cheering crowd gathered for the Santa Tecla Festival in Catalonia, Spain.

Tarragona’s “Correfocs” (fire runners) set off their fireworks amid a cheering crowd gathered for the Santa Tecla Festival in Catalonia, Spain.

Emma Albright, Valeria Berghinz and Anne-Sophie Goninet

👋 Halo!*

Welcome to Monday, where Russia targets the Ukrainian port city of Odessa, Hollywood writers reach a tentative deal with studios, and an Ethiopian athlete shatters the women's marathon world record. Meanwhile, Ukrainian online newspaper Ukrainska Pravda tells the harrowing tale of “Conan”, a Ukrainian special forces operator who got lost at sea and survived 14 hours afloat, dodging Russian patrols, before being rescued.

[*Sundanese, Indonesia]

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