Putin ejects Kremlin 'puppet master' after protests

By REUTERS
December 27, 2011 23:40

 
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MOSCOW - The architect of Vladimir Putin's tightly controlled political system became one of its most senior victims on Tuesday when he was shunted out of the Kremlin in the wake of the biggest opposition protests of Putin's 12-year rule.

The sacrifice of Vladislav Surkov, branded the Kremlin's "puppet master" by enemies and friends alike, is also a rare admission of failure for Russia's 'alpha dog' leader: Surkov's system was Putin's system.

With irony worthy of Surkov's cynical novels, the Kremlin's 47-year-old political mastermind was shown grinning on state television when told by President Dmitry Medvedev that he would oversee modernization as a deputy prime minister.

When asked why he was leaving the Kremlin, Surkov deliberately misquoted a slogan from the French Revolution, saying: "Stabilization is eating up its children."

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