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Russia’s ultimate political survivor faces a wartime reckoning

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, a fixture of Russian political life since the Soviet Union’s fall, could be on the hook for military failures

By Paul Sonne and Catherine Belton
May 8, 2022 at 5:00 a.m. EDT
Shoigu’s future is now on the line. Having retreated from its attack on Kyiv, the Russian military is facing immense pressure to save face and capture a larger swath of Ukraine’s east. Questions persist about how much blame Shoigu should bear for the Russian force’s failures — as opposed to Russia’s military leaders and intelligence chiefs, widely seen to have miscalculated how much Ukrainians would resist.
“There are reports that [Russian President Vladimir] Putin is very disappointed in how Shoigu prepared for this war, how he carried it out,” Russian political analyst Tatiana Stanovaya said.
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