News / Europe

Russia's Putin Brings 'Gray Cardinal' Surkov Back to Kremlin

Russian President Vladimir Putin (r) speaks with former deputy chief of staff Vladislav Surkov, (File photo).
Russian President Vladimir Putin (r) speaks with former deputy chief of staff Vladislav Surkov, (File photo).
Reuters
— President Vladimir Putin named his former deputy chief of staff Vladislav Surkov as an aide on Friday, bringing back the creator of modern Russia's tightly controlled political system just four months after he quit the government in a power struggle.
 
Surkov's return is likely to be seen as an effort by Putin to strengthen the more liberal camp in his Kremlin inner circle and balance out hawks who have seemed dominant since the former KGB spy began a third presidential term last year.
 
He was pushed from the Kremlin in 2011, after street protests against the system he helped create, and spent a year in government as a deputy prime minister before quitting in May after a dispute with investigators looking into suspected fraud.
 
His departure from the Kremlin's presidential administration and then from Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev's cabinet was widely seen as a victory for conservatives.
 
The “gray cardinal”, so called because of the influence he wielded behind the scenes, helped build what is known as “sovereign democracy” and, as Putin's top political aide, concentrated power in the president's hands in his first, 2000-2008 term.
 
His sway may not be so strong this time around.
 
Putin's decree did not specify Surkov's responsibilities, but his spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told Ekho Moskvy radio he would advise the president on aid to the Moscow-backed breakaway Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
 
However, the appointment gives Surkov, who turns 49 on Saturday, access to Putin's ear early in a six-year term that the 60-year-old has said may not be his last.
 
Surkov could not immediately be reached for comment.
 
Putin likes to maintain a balance of forces around him and often rotates people he trusts into different jobs. He has a limited pool to pick from, and senior officials who quit or are dismissed rarely then openly oppose Kremlin authority.

You May Like

China Announces Corruption Probe into Senior Ex-Leader

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, being probed for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid