Not only Shoigu disappeared from the public space, but also other key security officials - Zolotov, Bortnikov and Kostyukov
I am reposting this interesting article that appeared earlier today in Moscow Times.
Not only Sergei Shoigu fell out of the public field, but almost all the main security officials. We came to this conclusion after studying the reports in the media and official sources about the activities of Viktor Zolotov, Igor Kostyukov, Valery Gerasimov, and Alexander Bortnikov. They all disappeared at about the same time.
The head of the National Guard, Viktor Zolotov, disappeared on March 13, right after he went to the Cathedral of Christ the Savior and accepted the icon from the hands of the Patriarch himself. Then Zolotov complained to the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church that in the war with Ukraine "not everything is going as fast as we would like." Prior to that, on March 11, Zolotov presented awards to the Russian Guardsmen who distinguished themselves in hostilities. There were no more videos of him.
The last photo with Zolotov hangs on the website of the Russian Guard in a publication dated March 22. It says that he held a working meeting in Moscow with the leadership of the department. At the same time, initially, the material appeared for some reason on the website of the Samara department of the Russian Guard. There were no videos or any comments from this event.
At the same time, after March 13, the name of Zolotov was mentioned in the news of the state media only in connection with the sanctions of Japan and the United States. On March 17, information appeared that Zolotov allegedly fired his deputy Roman Gavrilov. According to some reports, Gavrilov was his close friend and was "person number 2" in the Russian Guard. media claimed that Gavrilov was detained on suspicion of embezzling funds from the National Guard, which were intended for fighters fighting in Ukraine.
The name of the Chief of the General Staff of the RF Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov also ceased to appear in the media. On March 12, he had a conversation with a colleague from Turkey, and on March 4 he discussed the situation in Ukraine with the Chief of the General Staff of the French Armed Forces, Thierry Burcar. There are no more messages, as well as photos or videos, with Gerasimov.
On March 24, the Pentagon announced that Gerasimov and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu were refusing to speak to them on the phone. The last time they spoke was February 18.
There is no information about the Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Federation Igor Kostyukov. Recently, only the former Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Arsen Avakov wrote about him. According to his sources, Kostyukov's health has "drastically deteriorated" - the military man is experiencing a "burning sensation in the heart."
Alexander Bortnikov appeared only at meetings of the Security Council led by Putin on March 24 and 11. At the same time, the director of the FSB was dressed in the same clothes (even the color of the tie was the same - red), behind him the same background, and the frame itself was exactly the same angle. On both broadcasts, Bortnikov appears only for a few seconds and does not utter a word. There is no more news about him.
Earlier, the media wrote that the head of the Ministry of Defense, Sergei Shoigu, had ceased to appear in public space since March 11. Sources close to the minister said he was "unwell and has heart problems."
After Shoigu was shown on video on March 24, he allegedly took part in a meeting of the Security Council with Putin. However, we found that the footage with the minister is very similar to the broadcast from a similar meeting on March 11th. The minister's tie has moved in the same direction, the background has not changed either. Mediazona came to the same conclusion.