Sergey Shoygu

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Sergei Shoigu
Сергей Шойгу
Official portrait of Sergey Shoigu.jpg
Official portrait, 2014
Minister of Defence
Assumed office
6 November 2012
PresidentVladimir Putin
Prime Minister
Preceded byAnatoliy Serdyukov
Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Defense of the CIS
Assumed office
11 December 2012
Preceded byAnatoliy Serdyukov
Governor of Moscow Oblast
In office
11 May 2012 – 6 November 2012
DeputyRuslan Tsalikov
Preceded byBoris Gromov
Succeeded byRuslan Tsalikov (acting)
Leader of United Russia
In office
1 December 2001 – 27 November 2004
Preceded byParty established
Succeeded byBoris Gryzlov
Deputy Prime Minister of Russia
In office
10 January 2000 – 18 May 2000
Prime MinisterVladimir Putin
Mikhail Kasyanov (acting)
Leader of Unity
In office
15 October 1999 – 1 December 2001
Minister of Emergency Situations
In office
17 April 1991 – 11 May 2012
Prime Minister
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byVladimir Puchkov
Personal details
Sergei Kuzhugetovich Shoygu

(1955-05-21) 21 May 1955 (age 66)
Chadan, Tuvan Autonomous Oblast, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Political partyCommunist Party of the Soviet Union (1977-1991)
Independent (1991–1995)
Our Home-Russia (1995–1999)
Unity (1999–2001)
United Russia (2001–present)
Spouse(s)Irina Shoygu
ChildrenYuliya Shoygu
Kseniya Shoygu
Alma materKrasnoyarsk Polytechnical Institute
AwardsHero of the Russian Federation
Order of St. Andrew (with swords)
Military service
Branch/serviceMilitary Council of the Civil Defence Troops
Years of service1991–present
RankGeneral of the Army

Sergey Kuzhugetovich Shoigu[1][a] (born 21 May 1955) is a Russian politician and General of the Army who has served as Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation and as Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Defense of the CIS since 2012. Previously, Shoigu was Minister of Emergency Situations from 1991 to 2012, and briefly served as Governor of Moscow Oblast in 2012. Shoygu holds the military rank of General of the Army.

Early life and education[edit]

Shoigu was born on 21 May 1955 in Chadan, Tuvan Autonomous Oblast, to an ethnic Tuvan father, Kuzhuget Shoygu (1921-2010) and a Ukrainian-born Russian mother, Alexandra Yakovlevna Shoygu (1924-2011), who was a member of the Tyvas People's Deputy Regional Council. He graduated from School No. 1 of Kyzyl city in Tyva Republic.[2]

In 1977, Shoigu graduated from the Krasnoyarsk Polytechnic Institute with a degree in civil engineering. Following graduation in 1977, Shoygu worked in the construction projects nationwide for the next decade, advancing from low levels to become an executive. In 1988, Shoygu became a minor functionary in the Abakan branch of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, and then in Komsomol for a few years. In 1990, Shoygu moved to Moscow from Siberia, and was appointed Deputy Chief of State Architecture and Construction Committee of the Russian Federation.[3]

Minister of Emergency Situations[edit]

Sergey Shoygu as the Minister of Emergency Situations, 28 June 2002

In 1991, he was appointed the head of Rescuer Corps, which was later given more responsibilities and renamed first to the State Committee on Emergencies, and eventually to the Ministry of Emergency Situations, making Shoygu a government minister. He became popular because of his hands-on management style and high visibility during emergency situations, such as floods, earthquakes and acts of terrorism. In 1999 he became one of the leaders of the Russian pro-government party Unity. He was awarded Russia's most prestigious state award – Hero of the Russian Federation – in 1999.

Governor of Moscow Oblast[edit]

In March 2012, he was announced as one of the potential candidates for the Governor of Moscow Oblast.[4] On 5 April 2012, he was elected by Moscow Oblast Duma (legislature) as the 3rd Governor of Moscow Oblast, and took office on 11 May 2012.[5]

Minister of Defence[edit]

General Shoygu with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, 21 January 2015
Shoygu with Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu. 17 October 2017
Shoygu holds a meeting with U.S. National Security Advisor John R. Bolton in Moscow on 23 October 2018

On 6 November 2012, Shoigu was appointed Minister of Defence by Putin. According to expert Sergey Smirnov, the so called "Petersburg group" of siloviki (Sergei Ivanov, Sergey Chemezov and Viktor Ivanov) had wanted one of its associates to succeed Anatoliy Serdyukov, but Putin was reluctant to strengthen the clan and opted for a neutral Shoigu.[6]

On 7 November 2012, the minister decided to resurrect the tradition of Suvorov and Nakhimov cadets participating in the 9 May parade. In July 2013 Shoygu ordered commanders to begin every morning in the barracks with a rendition of the Russian Anthem, to compile an obligatory military-patriotic book reading list and take the preparation of demob albums under their control.[7] In August that year he ordered to dress all Defense Ministry civilian workers, other staff and management employees in so-called "office suits".[8]

In February 2014, Shoigu said Russia was planning to sign agreements with Vietnam, Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, the Seychelles, Singapore and several other countries either to house permanent military bases and/or to house airplane refuel stations in those countries.[9] Since then, only an agreement with Vietnam was effectively signed.[10]

In July 2014, Ukraine opened a criminal case against Shoigu; he was accused of helping to form "illegal military groups" in Eastern Ukraine who at the time fought against the Ukrainian army.[11]

On 30 September 2015, Russia began a military operation in Syria. The operation was carried out by the Russian Aerospace Forces, with the support of the Russian Navy.

Shoygu was reappointed in 2018 (in Medvedev second government) and 2020 (in Mishustin government).

As defence minister, Shoigu on multiple occasions accompanied Putin during week-end breaks that the pair would spend at undisclosed locations in Siberian countryside. Following one such trip on 21 March 2021,[12] Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty aired a regular Russian-language programme that was titled Putin and Shoigu: History of Love[13]

Defender-Europe 21, one of the largest U.S.-Army, NATO-led military exercises in Europe in decades, began in mid-March 2021 and will last until June 2021. It will include "nearly simultaneous operations across more than 30 training areas" in Estonia, Bulgaria, Romania, Kosovo and other countries.[14][15] In April 2021, Shoigu said that Russia has deployed troops to its western borders for "combat training exercises" in response to NATO "military activities that threaten Russia."[16]


In September 2019, Shoygu in an interview for a Russian mass-circulation tabloid said, "By dint of enormous efforts undertaken by the country's leadership and the leadership of the Ministry of Defence, we have made our army what it is today — an army of permanent combat readiness. All the units we now have are units of permanent readiness."[17]

Let me express my opinion even more boldly. If the West continued to act as it started to act in Gorbachev times — fulfilled all its promises, did not bring NATO closer and closer to our borders, did not expand its influence in our "near abroad", did not meddle into the internal affairs of our country — then, it seems to me, they would have accomplished everything. They would have accomplished the task they have chosen — to destroy and to enslave our country, as they actually did with the "young Europeans" and with the former Soviet republics.

Personal life[edit]


Father — Kuzhuget Sereevich Shoygu[18] (1921–2010) (born Shoygu Seree oglu Kuzhuget, his name order was changed because of passport error), editor of the regional newspaper, later worked in the Party and for the Soviet authorities, was the secretary of the Tuva Party Committee and retired with the rank of first deputy chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Tuva ASSR. Also he led the Tuvan State Archives and spent six years as editor of the newspaper Pravda; wrote the novels Time and People, Feather of the Black Vulture (2001), Tannu Tuva: the Country of Lakes and Blue Rivers (2004).

Mother — Alexandra Yakovlevna Shoygu (née Kudryavtseva) (1924–2011). Born in the village of Yakovlev in the Oryol Oblast. From there, shortly before the war, her family moved to Kadievka (now Stakhanov) in the Luhansk Oblast, Ukraine. A zootechnician, Honored Worker of Agriculture of the Republic of Tuva, until 1979 - Head of the Planning Department of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic, was repeatedly elected deputy of the Supreme Soviet (parliament) of the Tuva ASSR.[19]

Granduncle — Seren Kuzhuget, commander of the Tuvan People's Revolutionary Army from 1929 to 1938.[20]

SistersLarisa Kuzhugetovna Shoygu (1953–2021[21]) (deputy of the State Duma) and Irina Zakharova (1960) (psychiatrist).[22]

Wife — Irina Alexandrovna Shoygu (née Antipina). She is president of the business tourism company Expo-EM.

DaughtersYulia[23] (1977) and Ksenia (1991).[22] According to Alexei Navalny, Ksenia is suspected to be a figurehead of her father in the ownership of a palace in the outskirts of Moscow, valued at about £12 million. In 2012, the estate was transferred to the formal ownership of one Yelena Antipina.[24]


Sergey Shoygu enjoys studying the history of Russia of Peter the Great's time and 1812–1825 (French invasion of Russia and the Decembrist revolt).[25]

Shoygu is fond of sports and is a fan of the CSKA Moscow hockey team. He also enjoys football and is a fan of Spartak Moscow. In March 2016, together with Sergey Lavrov, Shoygu presented the Russia People's Soccer League, with aims to unite fans of the sport from all over Russia.

Shoygu collects Indian, Chinese, and Japanese swords and daggers. He also enjoys bard songs and plays the guitar. He does water color paintings and graphics. He also enjoys collecting old pieces of wood, some of which he has shown to Putin.[26][27][28]

He is fluent in nine languages, including Russian, English, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, and Turkish.[29]



  1. ^ Russian: Сергей Кужугетович Шойгу, IPA: [sʲɪrˈɡʲej kʊʐʊˈɡʲetəvʲɪtɕ ʂɐjˈɡu]; Tuvan: Сергей Күжүгет оглу Шойгу, romanized: Sergey Kyzhyget oglu Shoygu, IPA: [siɾˈɡɛj kyʒyˈɣɛt ɔˈɣlu ʃɔjˈɣu].


  1. ^ Sergei Shoigu
  2. ^ "Первой школе Кызыла - 95 лет". Retrieved 25 December 2016.
  3. ^ 0divider. "Сергей Шойгу · Биография". Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 8 December 2015.
  4. ^ Shoigu Tipped as Next Moscow Region Governor, The Moscow Times.
  5. ^ "Murmansk Governor Out, New Moscow Region Governor In - News". The Moscow Times. Retrieved 8 December 2015.
  6. ^ "Министр обороны Сергей Шойгу на новом посту рискует растерять свой высокий рейтинг". Газета.Ru. Retrieved 8 December 2015.
  7. ^ "Ъ-Огонек - Новая летопись военного строительства". Коммерсантъ. 2 September 2013. Retrieved 8 December 2015.
  8. ^ Golts on Shoygu's Tenure (Part II), September 2014, Russian Defense Policy Blog.
  9. ^ Sputnik (26 February 2014). "Russia Seeks Several Military Bases Abroad – Defense Minister". Retrieved 8 December 2015.
  10. ^ David Brunnstrom (8 March 2015). "U.S. asks Vietnam to stop helping Russian bomber flights". Reuters. Retrieved 9 December 2020.
  11. ^ "Ukraine calls businessman and Russian defense minister 'accomplices of terrorists'". 22 July 2014. Retrieved 8 December 2015.
  12. ^ Trip to Siberian Federal District, 21 March 2021.
  13. ^ Rykovtseva, Yelena (22 March 2021). "Путин и Шойгу: история любви". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Retrieved 23 March 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  14. ^ "Massive, Army-led NATO exercise Defender Europe kicks off". Army Times. 15 March 2021.
  15. ^ "NATO, US to stage large-scale military exercises around Serbia until summer". Euractiv. 22 March 2021.
  16. ^ "Germany Says Russia Seeking To 'Provoke' With Troop Buildup At Ukraine's Border". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 14 April 2021.
  17. ^ Сергей Шойгу рассказал, как спасали российскую армию. Moskovskij Komsomolets, 22 September 2009.
  18. ^ "Государственный деятель Тувы Кужугет Шойгу похоронен в Москве". Retrieved 25 December 2016.
  19. ^ "Мать Сергея Шойгу стала заслуженным работником сельского хозяйства Тувы - ИА REGNUM". Retrieved 25 December 2016.
  20. ^ "Yesterday's gone 'Meduza' correspondent Andrey Pertsev reviews Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu's new book".
  21. ^ "Умерла депутат Госдумы Лариса Шойгу, сестра министра обороны России". Meduza (in Russian). Retrieved 10 June 2021.
  22. ^ a b "Высокопоставленные родственники. Полпреды -". Retrieved 25 December 2016.
  23. ^ "Родня во власти". 24 September 2007. p. 30. Retrieved 25 December 2016 – via Kommersant.
  24. ^ "Russia's defence minister 'secretly builds £12 million palace', say campaigners". The Telegraph. 29 October 2015. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022. Retrieved 9 December 2020.
  25. ^ "Шойгу Сергей Кужугетович". Retrieved 25 December 2016.
  26. ^ "Константин Ремчуков: Герой России Сергей Шойгу". Retrieved 25 December 2016.
  27. ^ "Тайна шкатулки губернатора". Retrieved 25 December 2016.
  28. ^ @marcbennetts1 (21 March 2021). "Sergei Shoigu, Russia's defence..." (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  29. ^ "Rare pictures show Defence Minister relaxing with one of his many hobbies".
  30. ^ https://xn--80ahclcogc6ci4h.xn--90anlfbebar6i.xn--p1ai/multimedia/photo/gallery.htm?id=95541@cmsPhotoGallery
  31. ^ "President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev receives Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation Sergei Shoigu — Official site of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan". Retrieved 31 October 2020.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Position established
Minister of Emergency Situations
Succeeded by
Preceded by Governor of Moscow Oblast
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of Defence
Party political offices
New office Leader of United Russia
Succeeded by