NEWSWATCH: “Russian reshuffle claims another big name: Putin’s chief of staff”

File Photo of Sergei Ivanov, adapted from defense.gov image

… Putin has abruptly sacked his longtime aide and confidant, Kremlin Chief of Staff Sergei Ivanov, amid what appears to be a major reshuffling within the ranks of Russia’s ruling elite. … the Kremlin website says … Ivanov asked to retire, and requested that his trusted deputy, Anton Vaino, replace him. Even if wholly accurate, it does little to explain the timing of the announcement, which comes amid a worrisome security crisis in Crimea that is escalating tensions with Ukraine, and a widening purge within Russia’s upper elites that is starting to look like a major changing of the guard. * * * Many of the firings of recent months have been accompanied by corruption charges, and experts say the campaign is likely to expand …

Click here for Christian Science Monitor: Fred Weir, Russian reshuffle claims another big name: Putin’s chief of staff. The sudden retirement of Sergei Ivanov, a longtime ally of Putin’s, is just one of many recent changes in Russia’s government, which seem to be aimed at bringing in younger Putin loyalists with new ideas.