- A number of Russian defense and intelligence officials, as well as general officers, have been dismissed, placed under house arrest or have gone missing in recent weeks. The latest is Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, who usually makes regular public appearances and is no stranger to the Russian media. According to journalists from two Russian media outlets, however, Shoigu has not been seen in public since 12 March. Rumors floating around Moscow suggest he is in poor health and is dealing with heart problems. Naturally, there are also other rumors that say Shoigu has been fired and is now under house arrest. So far, no Western media has managed to verify either allegation, or determine what Shoigu’s present status is.
- Shoigu is not alone. There are also reports suggesting Russian special envoy Anatoly Chubais has resigned from his position in opposition to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and fled the country. Bloomberg broke the news initially, but there has been no confirmation of it, or proof that Chubais has in fact left Russia.
- US President Joe Biden is traveling to Europe today for the special NATO summit scheduled for tomorrow in Belgium. Afterwards, Biden is expected to visit Poland where he will discuss efforts to continue support of Ukraine. On Monday, Biden made some comments about the state of the international order in the post-Ukraine War era. He claims the world is now at an inflection point which occurs every 3-4 generations. “We’re going to — there’s going to be a new world order out there, and we’ve got to lead it,” Biden said. “And we’ve got to unite the rest of the free world in doing it.”
Note: Shorter afternoon update today. I will hopefully follow up with another update later this evening, provided I get the time.