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High-Tech Taxman Who Loves Hockey Is Putin’s New Premier

  • Surprise choice is technocrat with record as a modernizer
  • Mishustin has economic background, worked in investment
Mikhail Mishustin in Moscow on Jan. 16.

Mikhail Mishustin in Moscow on Jan. 16.

Photographer: Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP via Getty Images

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Vladimir Putin is putting his trust in an obscure technocrat with little political experience to be prime minister and revive Russia’s flagging economy, as he prepares the country for the most significant constitutional overhaul in a generation.

Mikhail Mishustin, head of the Federal Tax Service, last held a political post in the government as a deputy tax minister for five years to 2004. Putin signed the order appointing him formally on Thursday after lawmakers in the lower house of parliament voted overwhelming to confirm his candidacy, with 383 in favor and none against.