MOSCOW: President Vladimir Putin today gave several ministers purged from his Cabinet new positions in his administration.
Putin named ex-Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev undersecretary of the presidential Security Council and named several other former ministers presidential advisors.
Putin, who won a third term in March’s election, yesterday named a new Cabinet led by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, retaining some key figures but dropping some of the most unpopular ministers, like Nurgaliyev, Health Minister Tatyana Golikova and Education Minister Andrei Fursenko.
Nurgaliyev has faced massive public criticism over widespread incidents of torture and other abuses by police, while Golikova and Fursenko have been linked to the worsening state of the nation’s healthcare and education systems.
The appointment of former ministers to new official positions has been expected given Putin’s record of keeping his lieutenants in government service despite public criticism.
Putin’s fellow KGB veterans Sergei Ivanov and Nikolai Patrushev have been respectively re-appointed as the Kremlin chief of staff and the head of the presidential Security Council.
Putin spent four years in the premier’s seat after serving two consecutive terms as the president due to a constitutional term limit, but he remained Russia’s No 1 leader all along. His protege Medvedev stepped down to allow Putin to reclaim the presidency, receiving the premiership in exchange.
Several officials who served in Medvedev’s administration during his presidency followed him to the Cabinet, while Putin retained some of those who served under him during his premiership, like his spokesman Dmitry Peskov who got the same job in the Kremlin today.