Dropping like flies: Who Will Replace Regions’ Governors?

Briefly about the new governors of some of the Russian regions: Samara, Novgorod Regions, as well as the Nenets Autonomous District and the Krasnoyarsk Territory.
02.10.2017
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The Russian establishment has been waiting for the autumn purge of governors since the spring. The Presidential Administration drew up a list of those who "failed to make it" and will call it a night. According to Kommersant and RBC, a total of 10-12 resignations are expected. Thus, this week, a number of regions will get some news. Katerina Karaseva summed up the interim results and found out whom the Kremlin had already sent to the regions.


Three official resignations took place within five days; two more are likely "on the way." Three of the already appointed governors conditionally fit into the tendency to rejuvenate the cadres. Formally, before the elections, which will be held in September, the appointees will wear the ‘interim’ prefix. Regions, by all appearance, can start preparing for serious relations with their new governors: Russia knows only one precedent when the governor appointed by the president lost the election. It was Sergey Yeroschenko, whose Irkutsk Region was "taken away" by the communist Sergey Levchenko.

The Samara Region — Dmitry Azarov

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Nikolay Merkushkin, famous for his statements about the Dulles plan and the advice he gave to the Russians – ‘to pray that they have pensions at all’, was replaced by Senator Dmitry Azarov, whose name was mentioned in the media long before the official appointment.

Dmitry Igorevich Azarov was born on August 9, 1970 in Kuibyshev (the name of Samara in the Soviet times – Russiangate). In 1992, he graduated from the Samara Polytechnic Institute with a degree in system engineering. Later, he earned Ph.D in economics.

In 1995-1998, he worked as deputy director for the economy at the Samara plant of auxiliary boiler equipment and pipelines. In 1998-2001, Azarov worked as deputy director for economy and pre-production at the plant Sintezkauchuk and first deputy director of the production association Volgakhimprom. In 2001-2006, he became the CEO of Srednevolzhskaya Gas Company LLC.

Azarov came in city politics in 2006: for two years he served as first deputy head of Samara. In 2008-2010, he moved to the government of the Region and became the Minister of Nature Management, Forestry and Protection.

From 2010 to 2014, Azarov was the mayor of Samara. He became the last elected mayor of the city: since September 2014, the city's head is appointed by a selection board. In the election race, Dmitry Azarov represented the party United Russia, winning the inner-party primaries. As a result, he got 66.94% of the votes. Azarov invited his colleagues from Volgakhimprom to his mayoral team. Samarans recall him as the first official who got online: not only he collected dissatisfied requests on Twitter himself, but also forced heads of departments and districts to create personal accounts and promptly respond to the citizens’ complaints. Long before Sobyanin, Azarov began to fight illegal stalls.

Under Azarov’s leadership, the Mayor's Office had a record of corruption scandals. In 2013, vice-mayor Yevgeny Reimer was tried for bribe taking. Later, a group of officials led by the deputy head of the property management department Vadim Kuzhilin ended up on the dock. They were accused of misappropriating municipal apartments.

In 2014, on the proposal of Governor Nikolay Merkushkin, Azarov became a senator. By doing that, the Governor decided to get rid of the mayor: immediately after Merkushkin took up his post, he decided to personally control all groups of influence in the region. In the Federation Council, Azarov headed the committee on the federal structure, regional policy, local self-government and the affairs of the North. One of his recent and most eye-catching initiatives was the bill on strengthening control over the sale of SIM-cards.

Azarov’s declared income for 2016 amounted to 10.1 million rubles, his wife Elina declared 2.7 million rubles. Azarov owns a plot of land (500 sq. M.), as well as a house (506.7 sq. M.), an apartment (234.3 sq. M.) and a garage (31.5 sq. M.), despite the fact that the family does not have any cars. He owns 1/3 of one apartment (59.2 sq. M.), and three more are in his use. Elina Azarova also owns a share of a land plot under residential buildings (2213.8 sq. M., shared property 6/995), two apartments and a part of non-residential premises (76.1 sq. M, shared property 2/3). The spouses have two daughters – Polina and Alyona.

The Novgorod Region — Gleb Nikitin

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Valery Shantsev in the Novgorod Region was replaced by another ‘young technocrat’ – Gleb Nikitin. He became the third former employee of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, who recently took over a governor's seat: the head of Sevastopol, Dmitry Ovsyannikov, was also a deputy minister (2015-2016), and head of the Kaliningrad Region Anton Alikhanov, from 2013 to 2016, worked in the Ministry of Industry and Trade as deputy director and then as a director of the department of state regulation of foreign trade.

Gleb Sergeyevich Nikitin was born on August 24, 1977 in Leningrad. He graduated from the St. Petersburg State University of Economics and Finance (1999), and then, right after, from the St. Petersburg State University with a degree in Law (2004) and the Russian Academy of Public Administration under the President of the Russian Federation (2008). In 2012, he received an MBA from Columbia University Business School and the London School of Business, after which became a Ph.D of economics.

In 1999-2004, Nikitin worked in the City Property Management Committee of St. Petersburg, where he served as the head of the department for the disposition of state property. Experts suggest that Nikitin can be considered as a member of Vladimir Putin’s ‘St. Petersburg cadres reserve’.

In 2004, Nikitin moved to Moscow, where he headed the property department of the commercial sector organizations of the Federal Agency for Federal Property Management (later – Rosimuschestvo – Ed.). In 2005-2006, he was on the boards of several companies, such as RSC Energia, KamAZ, Aeroflot and Rosneft. In 2007, Nikitin was appointed deputy head of Rosimuschestvo. From December 2011 to June 2012, he served as the head of this agency.

In July 2012, Nikitin became the Deputy of Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation Denis Manturov. A year later, he was promoted to the post of the first deputy. In 2014-2015, he was a member of the board of the Military-Industrial Commission of Russia. Since September 26, 2017, Nikitin serves as Interim Governor of the Nizhny Novgorod Region.

He was awarded the Order of Honor and the second-class medal of the Order of Merit for the Motherland. Current first-class State Councillor of the Russian Federation (2015).

The total amount of the declared annual income for 2016 reaches 8.3 million rubles, while his wife’s declared income is 25.6 million rubles. The Interim Governor owns the following cars: VAZ-21011, UAZ PATRIOT and motorcycle Java 350/638. His spouse owns a BMW X3. Gleb Nikitin also owns an apartment (45.6 sq. M.), as well as a plot of land (1500 sq. M.) with a cottage (171.9 sq. M.). The service real estate includes an apartment (56 sq. M.) and a cottage (148 sq. M.). His wife owns three apartments (38, 62.6 and 143 sq. M.), a plot of land and two parking spaces.

The Nenets Autonomous District — Alexander Tsybulsky

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Igor Kosin's resignation was the most uncharacteristic: the "retiree" does not fit to the list of the elderly. However, another federal deputy minister was appointed on his post – this time of the economic development of the Russian Federation – Alexander Tsybulsky. It is believed that for a federal deputy minister the appointment to such a small region as the NAD is rather a reduction.

Alexander Vitalievich Tsybulsky was born on July 15, 1979 in Moscow. In 2001, he graduated from the Military University of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, in 2006 – from the Moscow Institute of International Business. In 2014, he received a diploma from the Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Service.

Since 2006, he has held various positions in the department of foreign economic relations of the Russian Ministry of Economic Development and Trade. Not for long, in February-August 2008, he worked in the department of international cooperation of the Russian Government. In 2008-2010, Tsybulsky was an assistant to the Minister of Regional Development of the Russian Federation Viktor Basargin.

For a year, Tsybulsky was deputy director of the department for international relations and development of cross-border cooperation of the Ministry of Regional Development. In 2011-2013, he serves as director of the department for international relations and development of cross-border cooperation of the Ministry of Regional Development. In January-March 2013, Tsybulsky became director of the department for coordination of state sector programs of the Ministry of Regional Development.

He came to the Ministry of Economic Development in 2013. There, he first was an assistant to department head Andrey Belousov. In June of the same year, he became an assistant to the newly appointed minister Alexey Ulyukayev.

From September to December 2013, Tsybulsky worked as director of the department for the activities of the head of the Ministry of Economic Development. In 2013-2014, he was the director of the department for interaction with the bodies of the Customs Union and economic cooperation with the countries of the CIS in the same ministry.

In 2014, Tsybulsky was appointed Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation. It is noteworthy that he retained his post after the arrest of Ulyukayev, after whom Maxim Oreshkin became the Minister.

As Deputy Minister, he supervised the strategic and territorial planning of regional development, cross-border and international interregional cooperation, socio-economic development of the Arctic territories, as well as the development of special economic zones, territories for outpacing socio-economic development, single-industry towns, closed administrative territories. He was a member of the boards of directors of JSC Special Economic Zone Innopolis, JSC Special Economic Zone of Industrial Type Alabuga and others.

Tsybulsky presides over the supervisory board of the Charitable Foundation for Cultural and Socially Significant Initiatives named after Holy Righteous Warrior Fedor Ushakov. He was awarded the second-class medal of the Order of Merit for the Motherland.

The total amount of income declared by Tsybulsky in 2016 reaches 6.7 million rubles. He owns an apartment (63.9 sq. M.), and has another one in use (78.4 sq. M.). Also the Interim Governor owns a Toyota car. Tsybulski is single.

The Krasnoyarks Territory — Alexander Uss

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One can say that President Putin’s invariable style includes "personnel packages". For 17 years of his leadership, the country has got used to the fact that after one resignation others will inevitably follow. Despite the fact that potential candidates for replacement are known few weeks in advance, there is a rule of "denying to the last": the governors themselves and their press services for many years until the very last hour say something about the fact that the head of the region "is working in the normal course" and "is not going to resign ", after which, however, they leave their posts "at their own respect".

Two regional chiefs – of the Krasnoyarsk Territory, Victor Tolokonsky, and of Dagestan, Ramazan Abdulatipov, – broke the tradition this time: both announced their resignations on the same day, although the official Presidential Decree did not follow. Political scientist Alexander Kynev notes that such a decision demonstrates the political will of the retired: "resignation with pride intact."

In the evening on Friday, chairman of the local legislative assembly Alexander Uss was appointed acting governor of the Krasnoyarsk Territory.

Alexander Viktorovich Uss was born on November 3, 1954 in the village of Novogorodka in the Ilanskiy District of the Krasnoyarsk Territory.

He graduated from the Faculty of Law of Krasnoyarsk State University in 1976, graduate school of Tomsk State University in 1981, was a grant holder of the Max Planck Institute of Foreign and International Criminal Law (Germany, 1986-1988). Uss is a Doctor of Law, Professor.

Uss got to politics from the very beginning of the 1990s: in 1993, he became the head of the legal department of the administration of the Krasnoyarsk Territory. From 1993 to 1995, he represented the region in the Federation Council, was a member of the International Affairs Committee.

Then, Uss returned to the administration of the Region, but now as deputy head. In 1997, he was elected to the Legislative Assembly. In 1998, Uss became permanent chairman. He was a member of the Federation Council (back then, legislative power from the regions was represented by the Chairmen of the Legislative Assemblies). In accordance with the law, he stepped down in 2001.

In 2002, Uss was already trying to become a governor and even won in the first round gaining 27.6% of the vote, but in the second round of elections he gained only 42% and lost to Alexander Khloponin, the governor of the Taimyr Autonomous District.

Uss was awarded the fourth-class medal of the Order of Merit for the Motherland. He is married and has two daughters and a son.

In the latest declaration, Alexander Uss’ salary amounts to 28.2 million rubles. He owns three land plots (3959, 2405 and 775 sq. M.), three more – 174 178, 2357 and 47 307 sq. M. belong to him partially. Also, the declaration includes two residential houses (324.2 and 43.1 square meters) and country houses in joint ownership (308 sq. M. and three smaller ones – 53, 65 and 78 sq. M.). Apart from that, the speaker declared a Land Rover Range Rover. In addition, the chairman of the Legislative Assembly owns a land plot (6960 sq. M.) and an apartment (167.8 sq. M.).

The speaker’s spouse earned 26.3 million rubles over the past year. She owns a plot of land, a dwelling house (162.8 sq. M.), three apartments (138.6, 95.8 and 43.6 sq. M.), a garage-box, two parking spaces and a sauna. Also, the declaration of the ex-speaker’s spouse includes information on cars Lexus GS 300 and Land Rover Range Rover, caravan LAB81017, motor-boat Cilver and small-sized vessel Silverado. 


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