A month before parliamentary elections, Russian President Vladimir Putin replaces his long-time ally Sergei Ivanov as Kremlin chief of staff, appointing a low-profile former diplomat in his place. Mana Rabiee reports.
Putin's new right-hand man is a low profile former diplomat. But now, 44-year-old Anton Vaino takes on one of the most important posts in Russia. The new Kremlin Chief of Staff will draft laws for the Russian president to present to parliament… He'll monitor their enforcement, and watch over domestic and foreign affairs for Vladimir Putin. Vaino is unexpectedly replacing Putin's long-time ally Sergei Ivanov. It's not exactly clear if the 63-year-old was pushed out of the Kremlin. It's thought he was looking to quit for some time. But personnel changes in the Kremlin's inner circle are rare. And some analysts think Ivanov's departure is a signal that Putin is nervous about his popularity levels, ahead of parliamentary elections just one month away.