MOSCOW - Russian President Vladimir Putin has named his top political strategist to serve as the speaker of the newly elected parliament after elections that saw the main pro-Kremlin party strengthen its grip on the lower house.
Putin on Friday nominated Vyacheslav Volodin, the Kremlin's deputy chief of staff who oversaw the vote, as the State Duma's speaker. Volodin replaces Sergei Naryshkin, whom Putin named the new chief of Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service.
Volodin has been widely seen as the main architect of the Kremlin's domestic policies over the past five years, including a slew of laws that introduced tough punishment for taking part in unsanctioned protests and slapped new restrictions on non-government organizations.
While Volodin has largely stayed in the shadows, he is considered one of Russia's most influential officials.