Little is known about the newly promoted Alexander Kurenkov (Picture: Kommersant)

Vladimir Putin’s former bodyguard has been promoted to become Russia’s new Emergencies Minister, a role previously surrounded by scandal.

Major-General Alexander Kurenkov, 49, was nominated for the role this week.

He is the sixth bodyguard to the Russian president to be appointed to high government office.

Known as ‘the man without a face’, little is known about Kurenkov’s past and background.

Some claim he previously served in Russia’s counterintelligence agency.

He also allegedly worked for the FSO group in Russia, responsible for guarding senior officials.

The last man to hold the Emergencies Minister post, also a ex-Putin guard, mysteriously died last year after falling down a 90ft waterfall.

Alexander Kurenkov is known as the ‘man without a face’ in Russia (Picture: RBC)

Yevgeny Zinichev, 55, was killed trying to ‘save a man’ at the Putorana Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Arctic Siberia.

Rumours of foul play began to emerge following the incident.

The man he allegedly tried to ‘save’, documentary-maker-cameraman Alexander Melnik, 63, also was found dead.

At the time, Putin described Zinichev’s death as an ‘irreplaceable personal loss’.

Some analysts believed the former bodyguard had been poised to be Putin’s eventual successor.

The Kremlin leader awarded him a posthumous Hero of Russia honour.

The appointment comes as discontent with Putin grows in Russia (Picture: REX/Shutterstock)

Emergencies Minister is a high profile job in Russia, battling with flooding, wildfires and storms, but also seen as a key security portfolio.

It was in this role that Sergei Shoigu — now defence minister — made his name .

Kurenkov’s appointment is expected to be rubber-stamped by the Russian parliament.

The Kremlin’s presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told media outlets: ‘Putin knows him well personally.

‘And the choice means that, according to the head of the state, Kurenkov’s personal, service, and professional qualities will allow him to serve in this function.’

It is unclear if Putin sees the 49-year-old as a possible successor.

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It comes amid reports that Kremlin officials are secretly planning the future of Russia without Putin at the reigns.

His allies are apparently expressing distrust over his war vision, and his successors are now being lined up.

Among them are Moscow’s mayor Sergei Sobyanin, deputy chair of the Security Council Dmitry Medvedev and first deputy head of the presidential administration Sergei Kiriyenko.

According to Russian-Latvian website Meduza, ‘almost no’ members of the Russian elite are satisfied with their leader.

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