Kremlin fires Putin's longtime ally Ivanov

Russian President Vladimir Putin has fired Sergei Ivanov, his chief of staff and one of his closest allies.

State television on Friday showed footage of a meeting of Putin, Ivanov and the new chief of staff. Putin said he was making the move at Ivanov's request because he had been too long in the job. Ivanov was also taken off the Security Council, Russia's top security body which includes Putin, chairs of the parliament and chiefs of security services.

Former KGB officer Ivanov, a former defense minister and deputy prime minister, has been seen as one of Putin's closest allies. Ivanov was considered a likely successor to Putin before Putin chose Dmitry Medvedev to run for president in 2008 when he was unable to stand himself due to term limitations.