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MOSCOW, November 26 (RIA Novosti) – Newly appointed Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has brought in no less than 14 officers and generals who used to work with him in the Emergencies Ministry to join his team at defense, a high-ranking Defense Ministry source said on Monday.
“Now 14 officers and generals who previously worked in the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry, led by Sergei Shoigu, and then worked with him in the Moscow Region, have been called up for the military service,” the source said.
Shoigu, 57, was Moscow Region governor from May to November 2012, but before that headed Russia's emergencies service from 1991 to 2012.
Russia’s top military circle has been undergoing a major reshuffle following the November 5 appointment of Shoigu as Defense Minister, replacing Anatoly Serdyukov. He was dismissed amid an investigation into fraudulent transactions involving real estate worth nearly $100 million owned by Oboronservis, a ministry-controlled company.
Earlier this month, President Vladimir Putin sacked the chief of the Armed Forces General Staff, General of the Army Nikolai Makarov, replacing him with former Central Military District commander Col. Gen. Valery Gerasimov.
President Putin also dismissed Alexander Sukhorukov from the post of First Deputy Defense Minister, replacing him with Col. Gen. Arkady Bakhin, former commander of the Western Military District.
Putin promoted the Commander of Russia’s Space Forces, 55-year-old Oleg Ostapenko, to the post of Deputy Defense Minister, and fired several dozen people who had been employed as Serdyukov's advisors.
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The solution to the Ukrainian problem will directly depend on how the military operations unfold in Donbass. If the militia fighters take over the strategic initiative, win back Donbass and extend the war to the Zaporozhye and the Kharkov regions, then Kiev will be more amenable to a compromise