President Vladimir Putin has reappointed virtually his entire administration in a salvo of decrees, including Chief of Staff Anton Vaino, spokesman Dmitry Peskov and the Kremlin’s one-time “gray cardinal” Vladislav Surkov, but dismissed his internet development adviser German Klimenko.
Putin was re-elected to his fourth overall term in March on the promise of a broad political “breakthrough,” and Russia’s elevation into one of the world’s five biggest economies. Some international monitors and local opposition members complained of ballot stuffing and other irregularities during the election.
His chief of staff Vaino was described as an efficient and loyal administrator when Putin named him to the top Presidential Administration post in 2016. Also in the new administration will be Vaino’s two deputies Alexei Gromov and Sergei Kiriyenko.
Peskov will keep his dual roles of Putin’s press secretary and deputy chief of staff, a post he shares with Vladimir Ostrovenko and Magomedsalam Magomedov. Peskov has been at Putin’s side in various capacities for the entirety of the president’s 18 years in power.
Despite rumors of his ouster last month, Surkov was reappointed as presidential aide, one of nine aides that include three new names. One of the newcomers is the deputy head of the Federal Security Service (FSB), Dmitry Shalkov.
Putin said at an annual call-in show earlier this month that there were so many familiar faces because new bureaucrats -- “even if they were perfect administrators and well-trained professionals” -- would need at least two years to carry out his agenda.
“We do not have these two years,” he said last week.