Ivanov to Lead Fight On Drugs

VedomostiViktor Ivanov
President Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday appointed the former deputy head of the presidential administration, Viktor Ivanov, as chief of the Federal Drug Control Service, in a move widely seen as an attempt to undercut further the power of groupings within the security services.

"This is a demotion for Ivanov," said Alexander Khramchikhin, an analyst with the Institute of Political and Military Analysis. "He was kicked out of the presidential administration, which in our country is the most important body."

Ivanov was one of the main political players among the so-called siloviki, officials within, or with close links to, clans in state security organizations, whose power has grown during Vladimir Putin's eight years as president.

"Putin wants to free Medvedev from the difficult legacy he left behind," said Alexander Golts, a defense analyst and the deputy editor of the online newspaper Yezhednevny Zhurnal.

In his old job, Ivanov was in charge of personnel policy for the presidential administration and presidential liaisons with the security services.

He takes over for Viktor Cherkesov in an agency that, under Cherkesov, gathered compromising materials against him in the past, according to Russian media reports.

Cherkesov was moved to the Federal Agency for the Procurement of Military and Special Equipment.

Ivanov and Cherkesov are widely associated with two competing clans.

Ivanov, 58, was born in Novgorod. He served in the KGB and was FSB deputy director from 1999 to 2000. In 2000, he was appointed by Putin as deputy head of the presidential administration.