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Putin replaces his attorney general

Russia is getting a new attorney general. On Monday, Vladimir Putin dismissed Yuri Chaika, who'd served in the position since June 2006, and appointed Igor Krasnov, the deputy head of the Federal Investigative Committee, as acting attorney general. The upper house of Russia’s Parliament, the Federation Council, will reportedly vote on Krasnov’s confirmation on Wednesday, January 22. 

The president’s executive order says that Chaika is headed for a new position but offers no specifics. A source close to the Attorney General’s Office told the website Open Media that Chaika may have been dismissed because he is one year shy of the legal age limit (70) on the attorney general’s position.

Igor Krasnov is just 44 years old and is perhaps best known for investigating the January 2009 murders of lawyer Stanislav Markelov and journalist Anastasia Baburova. Krasnov also worked on the investigations into former First Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov’s assassination, death threats against former First Deputy Prime Minister Anatoly Chubais, and mass theft and corruption in the construction of Russia’s Vostochny Spaceport. 

According to Mark Galeotti, an expert in Russian law enforcement and crime, Krasnov “has a good reputation in Russian law enforcement as a serious — not ‘political’ — investigator who follows cases where they go,” adding that he’s “not just a Bastrykin crony,” referring to the head of Russia’s Investigative Committee, which has been at bureaucratic loggerheads with the Attorney General’s Office since it was split off from the latter in January 2011 and made its own independent agency.

Members of opposition politician Alexey Navalny's team, however, have already pointed out on social media that Igor Krasnov is partly responsible for the spurious money-laundering case still underway against the Anti-Corruption Foundation.