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The Boston Globe


Putin dismisses defense minister amid corruption case

Longtime ally’s ouster spawns raft of theories

MOSCOW — President Vladimir Putin fired Russia’s defense minister Tuesday after police raided the offices and an apartment of a real estate company involved in the privatization of valuable ministry land near Moscow.

The firing of Anatoly E. Serdyukov, a longtime Putin ally, is one of the highest-level dismissals connected to a corruption case in recent memory in Russia. It was also a departure for Putin, a leader who has been reluctant to dismiss members of his inner circle. Putin announced the decision to fire Serdyukov in a meeting with another longtime political ally, Sergei K. Shoigu, the former minister of emergency situations, whom he appointed the new defense minister.

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