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You're reading: Russia’s top senator under fire for scolding Putin
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Long-time Putin ally Sergei Mironov, who is speaker of the upper house of parliament, said in a show on state television that Putin’s handling of the crisis had not been perfect and that he no longer supported every single Putin policy.

Few Russians in positions of power dare to openly criticise Putin, who remains the country’s paramount leader nearly two years since stepping down as president, and Mironov’s comments provoked a barrage of rebukes from Putin’s ruling party.

One Putin loyalist compared Mironov — who leads a rival pro-Kremlin party — to a rat and accused him of turning on his patron. Analysts, however, said the row was more due to campaigning for regional elections next month than a genuine rift within Putin’s inner circle.

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