The Kremlin has published a decree stating that Nikolai Patrushev, who was previously ousted as Vladimir Putin’s security chief, will now serve as an aide to the Russian president. This announcement coincides with Putin’s recent reshuffling of the Russian defense ministry, occurring amidst heightened military activities in Ukraine.

As part of this reshuffle, Putin replaced Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, who had held the position for 12 years, with Andrei Belousov, an economist with no prior military experience. Shoigu, in turn, was appointed as the secretary of Russia’s Security Council, taking over from Patrushev, who is known to be one of Putin’s most trusted allies.

Additionally, Putin appointed Aleksey Dyumin, his former bodyguard, as another aide. Dyumin, a former governor of the strategically significant Tula region and a former high-ranking security official, had previously been considered a potential successor to Shoigu as defense minister.