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U.S. Ambassador To Russia Confirmed

John Tefft, pictured in May 2012, when he was U.S. ambassador to Ukraine

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Senate has confirmed John Tefft in a voice vote to be the next U.S. Ambassador to Russia.

The vote on July 31 came after Tefft testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on July 29 and was approved the same day, in an unusually fast process.

He replaces Michael McFaul, who left the Moscow post in February.

A veteran foreign service officer, Tefft is known as an old-school diplomat who cut his teeth on the State Department’s Soviet desk during the Cold War.

Tefft has been criticized in the Russian media as Washington’s go-to-guy for fomenting political unrest in former Soviet states, due largely to his stints as U.S. ambassador to Georgia and Ukraine.

Both countries saw "color revolutions" that swept pro-Western governments into power over the past decade.