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You're reading: Putin ejects Kremlin ‘puppet master’ after protests
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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 modernisation as a deputy prime minister.

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

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