Russia's defense minister — who hasn't been seen in public for nearly 2 weeks — resurfaces on Putin's video call
Russian President Vladimir Putin's defense minister appeared on a virtual call with Putin after weeks of not being seen in public.
Sergei Shoigu, Russia's defense minister, was seen on the call along with several other Putin advisors, video shows.
The Russian defense minister has reportedly seen his status decline within Putin's inner circle.
Russian President Vladimir Putin's defense minister — who has not been seen publicly in nearly two weeks — appeared on a virtual briefing with the Russian leader on Thursday, according to Russian state media.
Sergei Shoigu, Russia's defense minister, was seen on a screen on the virtual call along with several other Putin advisors as Putin sat behind a desk, a video posted to Twitter by the state-run Russian news agency RIA Novosti shows.
In the brief clip shared online, the feed for Shoigu — seen in the top left — seems to readjust to center him in the frame.
—Кремлевский пул РИА (@Kremlinpool_RIA) March 24, 2022
Shoigu on Thursday briefed Putin and Russia's Security Council about Russia's military operations in Ukraine amid Russia's month-long war with the eastern European country, Reuters reported, according to Interfax's report from the Kremlin.
The Russian defense minister has reportedly seen his status decline in Putin's orbit and not been spotted meeting with Putin in person since February 27 — three days after Russia invaded Ukraine, The New York Times reported earlier this week.
When asked about the minister's disappearance, Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov said that Shoigu was simply too busy with the conflict in Ukraine and didn't have time to make any media appearances, according to Russian state news agency TASS.
An expert told The Times that Putin's advisors are "on edge" as Russia's war with Ukraine has devolved into a debacle — with Russian troops met with stronger Ukrainian resistance than they anticipated.
The Times reported that Russia's military failures in its war with Ukraine had exposed cracks within Russian leadership.
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