Putin appoints Duma speaker Naryshkin as new foreign intelligence chief

The speaker of the lower house of the Russian parliament, or Duma, Sergey Naryshkin, will become the new chief of the country’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR). “You fully understand, as we do, the situation we are currently facing, how important is the success of that service for the development of the country,” Putin told Naryshkin. (Russia Today)

Mr Naryshkin has long shadowed Mr Putin, working at the St Petersburg mayor’s office in the 1990s at roughly the same time Mr Putin was there, and joining Mr Putin’s office in 2004 as deputy head of the economic development. He went on to head the president’s office in 2008 – 2011, when Dmitry Medvedev was president. (BBC)

The SVR spy agency emerged from the KGB’s first directorate after it was split up following the collapse of the USSR. (Deutsche Welle)