Sergei Ivanov, Putin’s former Chief of Staff and long-term ally, has been fired from his position at the head of the Russian presidential administration. Ivanov will now serve as a special representative for conservation, environmental, and transportation issues. His demotion represents the highest-level demotion within the Kremlin in years. Analysts believe Putin is attempting to reshape his image by brining in a younger, sleeker, entourage. 44-year-old Anton Vaino will replace Ivanov after serving as his deputy for four years.
Ivanov has also been removed from his position within Russia’s top security counsel. Analysts believe Putin demoting Ivanov from one of the most powerful men in Russia to head of conservation, environmental, and transportation issues is a subtle hint that his career in politics is all but over.
Ivanov served alongside Putin in the Soviet-era KGB spy agency and has spent decades working within the Russian Government. He is one of many aging Russian politicians that have been fired within the past year. Moscow-based analyst Alexei Makarkin believes he is trying to revitalize and refresh his immediate staff. Makarin told AP reporters:
“He wants to revive his team with the people he can fully trust and who are always near him, and that’s why the sources for new hires are his security detail and the presidential office,”
Putin elected promoted Ivanov to Chief of Staff only months before his election in 2012. Despite this moderately short tenure Putin claims he fired Ivanov after he requested the demotion for serving too long on the job.