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Replacement for Russian deputy PM is appointed

MOSCOW--Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday appointed former Kremlin foreign policy adviser Sergei Prikhodko as the head of his government's administration following the sudden departure of Deputy Prime Minister Vladislav Surkov.

Prikhodko worked as Medvedev's foreign policy adviser when he served as president between 2008 and last year. State news agencies said that Prikhodko would not be getting Surkov's title of deputy prime minister.

Surkov — the architect of Putin's strictly-managed political system and once seen as one of the most influential politicians in Russia — resigned on Wednesday after losing an apparent power battle with the Kremlin.

Analysts said it seemed likely that Putin had in fact fired his former ally after Surkov delivered a speech in London in which he criticized Russian politics.

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