A Russian tabloid newspaper with connections with the country’s security personnel reported that Serdyukov was in the apartment as well when the raid began.
ENEMIES IN HIGH PLACES
A one-time furniture salesman, Serdyukov owed much of his career to the influence of his father-in-law Viktor Zubkov, a former prime minister and trusted associate of Putin.
Serdyukov’s control over Russia’s arms budget had earned him enemies among ambitious Kremlin figures, including Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin wh o overse es t h e country’s defence industry, government sources say.
His military reforms, which reorganised troops, cut the number of officers by more than 100,000 and exposed high level corruption, also made him disliked in the ranks.
However, his alleged role in helping to dismantle the assets of jailed former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky while he still worked in the tax office had led many analysts to believe Serdyukov was untouchable and would weather the scandal.
Shoigu, 57, an army general, was emergencies minister from 1994 until this year, when he became governor of the Moscow region.
Although the Russian authorities were criticised in 2010 over forest fires that caused Moscow to suffer for weeks under smoke and toxic fumes, his loyalty to Putin and a background untainted by corruption have stood him in good stead.
“Shoigu is unknown in our country as a great strategist or as a powerful military officer, but that is not needed in the post of the minister of defence,” said Alexei Arbatov, a military analyst at the Russian Academy of Sciences.