President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday appointed six top former ministers who were not given jobs in the new Russian cabinet to senior posts in his powerful Kremlin administration.
Those named as Kremlin advisors included the former transport, economy, education, health, communications and natural resources ministers, while the ex-interior minister was named deputy head of the security council.
The Kremlin announcement came one day after Putin appointed a new government overseen by his presidential predecessor Dmitry Medvedev that also included a range of officials who have had lengthy spells in government.
The reshuffle has reinforced the idea that Russia's so-called ruling tandem was keeping the same political elite in place despite earlier promises of renewal and a focus on economic reforms and growth.
Those appointed Kremlin advisors were former economy minister Elvira Nabiullina, former health minister Tatyana Golikova, ex-natural resources minister Yury Trutnev, former education minister Andrei Fursenko, ex-communications minister Igor Shchyogolev and former transport minister Igor Levitin.
Ex-interior minister Rashid Nurgaliyev, who became a hate figure for the opposition for harsh crackdowns on protests and police abuses, was given the job of deputy head of the national security council.
Putin's election in March was preceded by months of protests on the streets of Moscow over the prospects of the former KGB spy extending his 12-year domination of Russia until at least 2018.
The Kremlin statement announcing the appointments did not explain the new advisors' role in Russia's political structure or provide further details.
But several Russian newspapers reported on Tuesday that the Kremlin would be making most future political and economic decisions despite the unveiling of a new Medvedev government.
Tuesday's appointments notably made no mention of the role of former deputy prime minister Igor Sechin -- a powerful Putin colleague who has long overseen the energy sector and has orchestrated most of Russia's big oil and gas deals.© ANP/AFP