Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev has appointed a top Kremlin official as deputy prime minister in charge of a modernization drive.
Vladislav Surkov, until now Kremlin first deputy chief of staff, has been credited with designing Russia's tightly controlled political system.
Medvedev said in a meeting broadcast on state television that Surkov would be responsible for the project of modernizing the economy.
"I hope now that you will be overseeing these [modernization] matters directly as a member of the government, everything that we have been discussing in the [presidential modernization] commission will be given clear shape and, of course, practical implementation because the government, according to the constitution, is our main executive body," Medvedev said.
Surkov, who first entered the Kremlin during the rule of President Boris Yeltsin, has become a hate figure for liberals in recent years, who blame him for leading a clampdown on dissent.
His appointment comes amid a wave of protests against the conduct and results of parliamentary elections.
compiled from agency reports