The Russian President Vladimir Putin has named the country’s new foreign intelligence chief – former Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov. He recently left the government to make way for changes ahead of presidential elections in March next year. He was replaced by the relative unknown head of a financial watchdog.
President Putin has been confounding political scientists and commentators, making surprise decisions about his government and his own future. Observers, for example, had expected that the new prime minister would be Sergei Ivanov, a close friend of Putin and favourite to replace him.
The President made shockwaves just a week ago, announcing that he will run for the post of prime minister in parliamentary elections in December.