Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev has named Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s chief staff, Sergei Sobyanin, to be the new mayor of Moscow.
Sobyanin also previously ran Medvedev’s election campaign.
The appointment needs to be approved by Moscow’s city council, but it is unlikely it will oppose the 52-year old.
Sobyanin’s appointment will increase Putin’s grip on power should he, as is widely expected, run for president in 2012.
From 2001 to 2005 Sobyanin was governor of the oil-rich Tyumen region, Russia’s second-wealthiest administrative region after Moscow.
He replaces the man who ran Moscow for 18 years, Yuri Luzhkov, who was sacked by Medvedev earlier this month after Luzhkov had launched several attacks on his leadership.
He transformed Moscow from a drab capital into a flashy international city, but was also accused of letting corruption rip.