Russia’s new defense minister shows economy is firmly on war footing

Vladimir Putin’s surprise selection of Andrei Belousov, an economist, as defense minister is the clearest sign yet that Russia has shifted its economy onto a war footing and that the fate of Russian forces in Ukraine depends heavily on winning an arms manufacturing race with the West.

“Belousov’s appointment is, in part, a recognition of how central the war has become to the economy, and how central the economy is to the war,” said Sam Greene, a professor of Russian politics at King’s College London.

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