Russia’s Solitary Man; [Putin is firing powerful allies and is setting himself up as tsar]

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – August 15, 2016) Vladimir Putin is throwing his old pals under the bus. He’s replacing them with loyal and docile servants. And he’s building a security apparatus that answers to him alone. A year ago, Putin fired longtime associate Vladimir Yakunin as head of Russian Railways. A few months back, he effectively dismissed […]

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Putin’s Latest Personnel Changes Make a Stable Long-Term Dictatorship More Likely, Pastukhov Says

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, August 15, 2016) The retirement of Sergey Ivanov as head of the Presidential administration, whatever the proximate causes, “symbolizes a change in eras of the Putin administration,” from one of a kind of collective leadership to a one-man dictatorship that is likely to last a long time, according to Vladimir Pastukhov. Ivanov’s […]

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Putin’s incredible shrinking circle; Ivanov’s departure leaves few voices able to speak truth to Putin

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

(opendemocracy.net – Mark Galeotti – August 16, 2016) Mark Galeotti is principal director of the Mayak Intelligence consultancy and a visiting fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations. True to the informal tradition that August brings surprises in #Russia, on the 12th it was announced that Vladimir Putin’s chief of staff, Sergei Ivanov, was leaving his position as head […]

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NEWSWATCH: “THE VERY STRANGE WRITINGS OF PUTIN’S NEW CHIEF OF STAFF” – The New Yorker/Masha Gessen

Kremlin and River

… Putin changed his chief of staff, replacing an old K.G.B. colleague, Sergei Ivanov, with Anton #Vayno, a younger, little-known bureaucrat who has been serving as deputy chief of staff. … The possibilities are endless …. Vayno, who is forty-four, … not a surprising choice. … a member of the Putin clan for years, and, for at least the past […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Can government reshuffles bring any hope for #Russia?” – bne Intellinews/Mark Galeotti

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

The unexpected removal of Sergei Ivanov … has inevitably created a frenzy of kremlinological speculation. A reshuffle is certainly underway … there is clearly some longer-term political goal. However, one aspect which has largely been neglected has been how this will affect the governance of #Russia in the short term, and the perennially any-day-now prospects of meaningful economic reform. … […]

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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. […]

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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 […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Meeting with Sergei Ivanov and Anton Vaino

Putin Descending a Staircase

(Kremlin.ru – August 12, 2016) Vladimir Putin had a meeting with Sergei Ivanov and Anton Vaino. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Ivanov, we have been working together for many years, and working successfully. I am pleased with your performance in the areas you have supervised. I remember very well our agreement when you asked me to not extend your […]

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NEWSWATCH RFE/RL: “New Study Links Putin’s ‘Gunslinger’s Gait’ To KGB Training” – with video

Putin Descending a Staircase

RFE/RL and AFP report on theories that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s unusual gait, including a tendency to keep his right arm closer to his torso while in motion, might be linked to KGB training that valued the ability to draw a weapon quickly. A team of European neurologists says … Putin walks with a peculiar “gunslinger’s gait” — a reduced […]

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Kremlin chief of staff sees little progress in implementation of Minsk agreements on Ukraine

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

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Sochi. Oct 22 (Interfax) – Moscow is not inclined at the moment to make optimistic forecasts regarding the developments in settling the conflict in Ukraine, as the Minsk agreements have yet to be fulfilled, and Kyiv needs to arrange contacts with Donetsk and Luhansk representatives, Kremlin chief of staff Sergei Ivanov says. “I would be cautious about making […]

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Kremlin chief-of-staff against moving Russian presidential election

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

(Interfax – June 20, 2015) It doesn’t make sense to move the 2018 presidential election to an earlier date, head of the Russian presidential administration Sergey Ivanov has said. “If you ask my opinion, I see absolutely no sense in this,” Ivanov said in an interview in the Vesti v Subbotu with Sergey Brilev programme on state-owned official Rossiya 1 […]

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NEWSLINK Financial Times: Senior Putin aide warns over Russia-US relations

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

One of Vladimir Putin’s most senior officials has warned the US against a plan to store heavy weapons in eastern Europe as Nato draws up contingency plans for conflict in Europe for the first time since the cold war. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/a7c7557e-17f0-11e5-a130-2e7db721f996.html

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Interfax: Russia ready to cooperate with West in tackling terror, regional conflicts – Sergei Ivanov

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

(Interfax – May 2, 2015) Russia will still cooperate with the United States and Europe in fighting terrorism, resolving regional conflicts and countering other modern challenges, if partners are keen on that, says Sergei Ivanov, the chief of the Russian presidential administration. “New threats and challenges emerged, for example, terrorism, the spread of weapons of mass destruction, regional conflicts. Russia […]

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Firing of Ekho Moskvy Reporter Prompts Speculation Over Fate of Editor-in-Chief

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – November 7, 2014) A state-controlled media holding has fired an Ekho Moskvy radio journalist, citing ethical norms, and threatened to dismiss the radio station’s long-standing chief editor who has led it as one of the final strongholds of media freedom in the country. The dismissal of Alexander Plyuschev followed a Twitter post […]

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Interfax: Chief of staff says businessman’s arrest damaging Russia’s investment climate

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

(Interfax – October 15, 2014) Kremlin chief of staff Sergey Ivanov has said that the house arrest of billionaire businessman Vladimir Yevtushenkov is damaging Russia’s investment climate. In an interview with popular pro-Kremlin tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda, which was quoted by Interfax news agency, Ivanov said that “I agree, this [the arrest of Yevtushenkov] is having a bad influence of the […]

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Russia must remain true to “traditional values” – Kremlin chief-of-staff

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

(Interfax – Moscow, March 31, 2014) Sergey Ivanov, head of the Kremlin administration, is stressing the importance and relevance of Russia drawing up a state cultural policy: the scenario in Ukraine, which led to the abandoning of traditional values and a division of society provoked from abroad, must not be allowed. “The latest events in Ukraine show just how grave […]

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Kremlin official calls on prosecutors to step up oversight of terrorism and extremism cases

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

MOSCOW. Jan 10 (Interfax) – Prosecutors’ oversight of the course of investigations into terrorist attacks should become more effective, Russian presidential chief-of-staff Sergei Ivanov said. “Oversight of the course of inquiries into criminal offences, primarily crimes linked to terrorism, should be made more effective,” Ivanov said at a Friday session, dedicated to the Day of Russian Prosecutors. Terrorists who seek […]

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Interfax: Law regarding corruption could be amended – Ivanov

Cropped File Photo of Two Men in Business Suits Shaking Hands and Passing Cash

BARNAUL. Dec 8 (Interfax) – Amendments related to the confiscation of bribe-takers’ property could be added to the law, Russian presidential administration head Sergei Ivanov said. “I will not anticipate the events but certain amendments could probably be added to the law,” Ivanov said in an interview with the NTV TV channel on Sunday. The confiscation institution in Russia does […]

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Interfax: Kremlin should use Soviet staff policies – Russian presidential administration chief

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Interfax – November 13, 2013) The system of staff training in which specialists had supervisors should be revived and every reservist should understand his prospects, Russian presidential administration chief Sergei Ivanov said. “The Soviet Union had very good staff policies. There were certain filters and stages that people went through. I will not deny that these people were supervised, in […]

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Continuity is crucial to Russia’s further development – Kremlin official

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

MOSCOW. Oct 31 (Interfax) – Russia will be able to develop further only if it remains committed to the principles of continuity, historical memory and its traditions, presidential chief-of-staff Sergei Ivanov said. “Russia’s further development is possible only if the principle of continuity is followed. A rift affecting historical memory, traditions and conflicts of epoch and generations, which is the […]

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Comments by Sergei Ivanov following meeting of the Council for Countering Corruption

Sergei Ivanov file photo

(Kremlin.ru – October 30, 2013) The Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office spoke with journalists about the results of auditing declarations by civil servants and staff at state corporations, as well as companies with state participation, conducted in 2013. Sergei Ivanov reminded journalists that anticorruption standards apply to all civil servants and officials, certain categories of municipal offices […]

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Interfax: Kremlin chief of staff discusses Russian-U.S. relations with Kissinger

Stylized Russian and U.S. Flags with Number 200, 1807-2007

MOSCOW. Oct 28 (Interfax) – Russian presidential chief of staff Sergei Ivanov discussed Russian-U.S. relations with former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger at a meeting in Russia. “I can’t say that Russian-U.S. relations are developing very smoothly and consistently, but anyway, the last meeting between our presidents in St. Petersburg showed that, if a constructive approach is taken to […]

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Kremlin advises municipal authorities to cooperate with NGOs

Sergei Ivanov file photo

MOSCOW. Oct 24 (Interfax) – Russian presidential chief-of-staff Sergei Ivanov has called on the municipal authorities to cooperate with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) instead of shunning them. “You should not be afraid of NGOs. Rather, you ought to work together with them,” Ivanov said at a meeting of city mayors and city managers on Thursday. Practice shows that the municipal authorities […]

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Kremlin Chief of Staff Ivanov Surprised but Not Alarmed by Navalny

Alexei Navalny file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Andrew McChesney – October 1, 2013) Kremlin chief of staff Sergei Ivanov has expressed surprise about the opposition’s growing political clout, particularly Alexei Navalny’s strong showing in Moscow’s mayoral election this month, but indicated that President Vladimir Putin was unconcerned by any threat to his grip on power. Ivanov, who made the comments in an […]

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Putin chief of staff: 1993 constitution saves Russia’s ‘sovereignty and unity’

File Photo of Parliament Building Billowing Smoke in 1993

(Interfax – MOSCOW, September 26, 2013) President Vladimir Putin’s chief of staff has credited Russia’s 1993 constitution with making it possible to “preserve the sovereignty and unity of Russia.” “The constitution has made it possible to preserve the sovereignty and unity of Russia. It has made it possible to step back from a very dangerous point and put political processes […]

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Kremlin aide: there may be ‘some pretext’ for war on Assad if chemical arms scrapped

Sergei Ivanov file photo

(Interfax – VLADIVOSTOK, Russia, September 23, 2013) Syria may still be in danger of a military strike from abroad if it fulfills its commitment to scrap all its chemical weapons because there may be “some other pretext” for war, the Kremlin’s top aide said. Sergei Ivanov, president Vladimir Putin’s chief of staff, said in a program on Saturday on Russia’s […]

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Interfax: Cyrillic marking on rocket splinter doesn’t implicate Syria government – Kremlin official [Sergei Ivanov]

Syria Map

(Interfax – VLADIVOSTOK, Russia. September 21, 2013) The Kremlin’s chief of staff, in comments on a recent find in Syria, has dismissed suspicions that a Cyrillic inscription on a splinter of a rocket that apparently carried a chemical charge was evidence that the Syrian government was the perpetrator of last month’s chemical attacks near Damascus. “A marking in Cyrillic has […]

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Interfax: Kremlin aide [Sergei Ivanov]: attempts to export democracy via war don’t work

Sergei Ivanov file photo

(Interfax – STOCKHOLM. September 21, 2013) The Kremlin chief of staff has argued that foreign military intervention can neither democratize countries ruled by dictatorial regimes nor resolve domestic conflicts. “There hasn’t been any more democracy and freedom where military recipes were used, let’s not be hypocritical about that,” Sergei Ivanov said at the Global Strategic Review 2013 conference in Stockholm […]

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Ivanov confirms Putin slammed 2012 decree enforcement plans

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

(Interfax – ST. PETERSBURG, June 21, 2013) President Vladimir Putin harshly criticized the Cabinet’s road maps to the implementation of his decrees of May 7, 2012, but “has repeatedly made quite high assessments” of the Cabinet’s overall performance, said the president’s chief of staff. “The president has repeatedly made quite high assessments of the performance of the government. He criticized […]

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Russia honoring INF treaty, but this can’t last endlessly – Kremlin chief of staff

File Photo of Nuclear Weapon, B61 Gravity Bomb

(Interfax – ST. PETERSBURG, June 21, 2013) The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) signed between the Soviet Union and the United States in 1987 cannot exist endlessly, says Russian presidential chief of staff Sergei Ivanov. “A legitimate question arises: on the one hand, we have signed the Soviet-U.S. treaty, and we are honoring it, but this can’t last endlessly,” Ivanov […]

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Sergei Ivanov Returns to Center Stage

Sergei Ivanov file photo

(Institute of Modern Russia – imrussia.org – Donald N. Jensen – April 2, 2013) KGB General Sergei Ivanov, once considered a likely successor to Vladimir Putin, lost much of his influence after Dmitri Medvedev’s selection as president in 2008. Yet in recent weeks, Ivanov appears to have made a political comeback. Donald N. Jensen, Resident Fellow at the Center for […]

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Vladimir The Weak

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

(RFE/RL – rferl.org  Brian Whitmore – March 18, 2013) Vladimir Putin clearly likes to keep an eye on his enemies. Perhaps he should be taking a closer look at his friends. Consider, for example, Kremlin chief of staff Sergei Ivanov. The KGB veteran and was widely considered the odds-on favorite to be Putin’s successor back in 2007 until he was […]

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