Russian president Vladimir Putin today accepted the resignation of his prime minister, Mikhail Fradkov, and the whole cabinet. The shakeup gives Putin a chance to name a new PM and position a successor to himself as president. The new PM is likely to be current first deputy PM Sergei Ivanov, who is seen as being groomed by Putin to be the next president.
Ivanov worked under Putin in an intelligence agency in the late 1990s, the BBC reports, and the two are said to be close. Putin is required, by term limits, to step down next spring. Parliamentary and presidential elections are scheduled for December. Putin himself was elected president after being named prime minister a few months earlier by Boris Yeltsin.