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Russian Parliament's Upper Chamber Approves Krasnov As Top Prosecutor

Russia's new prosecutor-general, Igor Krasnov

MOSCOW -- The Russian parliament's upper chamber, the Federation Council, has appointed Igor Krasnov, President Vladimir Putin's nominee, as the country's new prosecutor-general.

The January 22 vote came two days after Putin nominated the little-known Krasnov, who has served as deputy chairman of the Investigative Committee, to replace Yury Chaika, who occupied the post for almost 14 years.

Putin's proposal came days after lawmakers in the parliament's lower chamber, the State Duma, overwhelmingly approved his choice for new prime minister, tax chief Mikhail Mishustin.

Mishustin’s predecessor, Dmitry Medvedev resigned along with his government after Putin used his annual state-of-the-nation speech on January 15 to call for a referendum on substantial constitutional amendments that he said would strengthen parliament's powers.

Some observers suspect that Putin's surprise constitutional shakeup could be a move to help keep the 67-year-old former KGB officer in power beyond the end of his fourth presidential term in 2024.