NEWSWATCH: “Putin’s personnel moves. Dancing in the dark. Desk shuffles in the Kremlin signal something, but no one knows what.” – The Economist

Kremlin and River

The Kremlin’s political nature resembles its physical structure: a walled fortress whose interior is invisible to those on the outside. … when … Putin sacked Sergei Ivanov, his powerful chief of staff, the Kremlin released only a cryptic video in which … Putin thanked … Ivanov for his 17 years of service. The move’s real meaning was left to speculation. This aura of mystery is not happenstance, but a guiding principle. … Ivanov, like … Putin an ex-KGB man from St Petersburg, was seen as one of Russia’s most influential figures, perhaps second only to the president himself. The decision to replace him with the 44-year-old Anton #Vaino fits a broader pattern of … Putin’s old comrades being pushed out in favour of younger loyalists. * * * … Vaino’s promotion may portend wider changes. Ministers may be swapped out after parliamentary elections. More old cronies, such as the Rosneft head, Igor Sechin, may find themselves under fire. Yet where these shifts will take the country remains a mystery. That is part of the point. …

Click here for The Economist: Putin’s personnel moves. Dancing in the dark. Desk shuffles in the Kremlin signal something, but no one knows what.