Vladimir Putin Fires His Chief of Staff Sergei Ivanov

Putin Fires His Chief of Staff Sergei IvanovRussian President Vladimir Putin on Friday fired his chief of staff and longtime ally Sergei Ivanov from the Kremlin, demoting him to a “special envoy” position for transportation policy. Despite what observers believe to be an outright firing of one of Putin’s closest confidants, the Russian president attempted to make the departure seem as coming from Ivanov’s own desires: “I’m happy with how you handle tasks in your line of work,” Putin told his ally. “I remember well our agreement that you had asked me not to keep you as chief of the presidential administration for more than four years and that is why I understand your desire to choose another line of work.” Ivanov, 63, is a former KGB agent who has long worked for the president in various administrative capacities and, at one point, was considered to be Putin’s main successor.