When he came to power in 2000, Putin created a top-down "power vertical" staffed largely by old KGB colleagues, which was quite successful in stopping the economic and political decay that beset Russian Federation in the 1990s. It also follows a reshuffle of regional leaders in July.

In their staged meeting, Ivanov seconded that notion, saying that he wanted to move on and thanked Putin "for your high regard for the work I have done over the past 17 years".

Vladimir Putin has a new right-hand man in the Kremlin today, as 44-year-old Anton Vaino takes over as head of Russia's presidential administration.

Ivanov, 63, was considered as one of the most influential men in Russian Federation.

Sergei Ivanov has always been one of Vladimir Putin's closest allies and, like him, served in the Soviet security service, the KGB.

Putin said. "Respected Sergei Borisovich, we have worked many years together". In a televised Republican primary debate, he spoke of a "relationship" with Putin: "I got to know him very well because we were both on '60 Minutes.'" Forget the fact that they were on different continents at the time.

"We've worked successfully. I'm satisfied with how you have fulfilled your tasks in your area of duties".

He is not a household name in Russian Federation, unlike Ivanov, who was spoken of as a possible presidential contender in 2008 and worked as Putin's deputy when Putin ran the FSB security service.

Ivanov praised Vayno as fully fit to replace him.

Social media users on Friday posted photos of Vayno at previous Kremlin events, including one where he was carrying an umbrella for Putin.

"Psychologically, it's more comfortable for Putin these days to deal with the people, who always thought of him as the great leader and can not recall the times when Putin was not great leader yet", Belkovsky said on Ekho Moskvy radio.

Ivanov's departure follows the high-profile exits of the head of ailing state development bank VEB in February and the boss of Russian Railways past year.

Ivanov is the latest casualty in Putin's campaign to rid himself of long-serving members of his entourage. All are men in their 60s, all longtime acquaintances of the president.

The changes started a year ago with the departure of Vladimir I. Yakunin, head of Russian railways, who was then so insulted by the low-level rank offered to him in the Federal Council, the upper house of parliament, that he refused the post.

Among the new appointees to senior government jobs are former officers of the Kremlin security guard and stolid clerks who hadn't been known to the public.

GOP nominee Donald TrumpDonald TrumpSlain Israeli leader's son slams Trump's "incitement" of violence Trump proposes "ideological screening" for immigrants Trump lays out anti-terror plan MORE and Republicans might be counting on an "October surprise" of embarrassing material about Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonSlain Israeli leader's son slams Trump's "incitement" of violence FULL SPEECH: Donald Trump addresses Radical Islamic Terrorism Trump lays out anti-terror plan MORE obtained through Russian espionage against the Democratic Party, but what if the real October surprise is public disclosure of, or intelligence leaks about, the true extent of Russian espionage and, very possibly, possible Russian or pro-Russian Ukrainian financial relationships that could be a game-ending disaster for the Trump campaign?

Political analyst Mikhail Troitskiy suggested to the German dpa news agency that the dismissal could be due to health issues, Putin's determination to "demote the "old guard" and recruit younger professionals, or both.

He will now take up a powerful post that involves drafting laws for the president to submit to parliament, monitoring the enforcement of those laws, and conducting analyses of domestic and foreign affairs for the president. The former defence minister, 63, will be replaced by Anton Vaino, a 44-year-old ex-diplomat who had served as Ivanov's deputy since 2012.

(Vatican Radio) Political tensions are reported in Russian Federation where President Vladimir Putin has abruptly replaced his longtime chief-of-staff with a low-profile younger aide.

Russian Federation is set to hold its next presidential election in 2018.

In a later tweet, Trump wrote, "The new joke in town is that Russian Federation leaked the disastrous DNC [emails] ... because Putin likes me".


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