LDPR retreated from Smolensk - Newspaper Kommersant No. 46 (7491) of 03/18/2023

LDPR retreated from Smolensk - Newspaper Kommersant No. 46 (7491) of 03/18/2023

President Vladimir Putin signed decree on the resignation of the governor of the Smolensk region Alexei Ostrovsky (LDPR) and the appointment of Vasily Anokhin, director of the department of regional development of the government of the Russian Federation, former vice-governor of the Smolensk region for finance, as acting head of the region. Mr. Anokhin assured the president that he would pay special attention to the social security of the mobilized and their families, and that he would also prepare a development plan for the region within a month. The Liberal Democratic Party called the resignation of their governor "unexpected".

The President's meeting with the newly appointed Acting Governor of the Smolensk Region Vasily Anokhin took place on Friday evening via video conference. Vladimir Putin stated that the subject is not a stranger to the official, since he worked there "not so long ago and at a high level", and asked to assess the situation there.

Vasily Anokhin replied that she really knew him: “I worked there, lived there, I started a family in the Smolensk region.” He considers health care, education, ecology, housing and communal services, as well as social security to be the most pressing issues for residents. “In particular, mobilized citizens and their families, to which I will give priority, special attention,” Mr. Anokhin assured. He added that he “understands all the steps that need to be taken,” and therefore, in a month, he is ready to provide a “detailed plan for the development of the region.”

Vasily Anokhin is 39 years old, graduated from the Academy of Economic Security of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation and the Russian School of Economics. He started his career in the Smolensk region, in 2015-2016 he worked as a representative of the region to the government of the Russian Federation, in 2016-2018 - as vice-governor for financial policy and budget. Later he went to the federal level - to the secretariat to Vitaly Mutko when he was his deputy prime minister. In 2018, he became deputy head of the secretariat, already Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin. In January 2021, Mr. Anokhin moved to the Department of Regional Development of the Government of the Russian Federation. Graduated from the special program of the Higher School of Public Administration at the RANEPA.

The Smolensk region is “the western borders of the Russian Federation, and this is also of particular importance,” Vladimir Putin noted. “Immediately after you take the first steps in this work, we will talk personally and discuss what needs to be done additionally,” the head of state warned.

Now the former governor of the Smolensk region, Alexei Ostrovsky, did not comment on his resignation at the time of the release of the issue.

A Kommersant source close to the presidential administration (AP) says that although this year he was not named on the lists of potential retirees (Mr. Ostrovsky's powers expired only in 2025), according to his information, the AP considered this possibility earlier, before his last election.

Recall that in 2015 and 2020, Alexei Ostrovsky participated in the direct elections of the governor and won with a score of 65.2% and 56.5%, respectively. "United Russia" both times did not expose him to rivals.

The LDPR is also in no hurry to comment on the "loss" of one of its two governors (the head of the Khabarovsk Territory, Mikhail Degtyarev, is also in the ranks of the Liberal Democrats). A member of the party's supreme council, State Duma deputy Yaroslav Nilov told Kommersant: "The resignation is unexpected."

Recall that Aleksey Ostrovsky has served as head of the region since April 20, 2012. This is one of the last appointees of President Dmitry Medvedev and one of the last governors elected through parliament (direct gubernatorial elections were returned in the autumn of the same year). Earlier, on Wednesday, Vladimir Putin accepted the resignation of another "long-lived" governor of Chukotka, Roman Kopin, coincidentally one of Mr. Medvedev's first appointees. Vladislav Kuznetsov, former vice-governor of the Kurgan region, who has been deputy head of the government of the Luhansk People's Republic (LPR) since last summer, has been appointed acting head of the autonomous okrug.

As a representative of the opposition, Aleksey Ostrovsky formed a "coalition government", inviting representatives of all other parties to it.

“The news is very unexpected,” State Duma deputy from the region Sergei Leonov (LDPR) told Kommersant. “I hope that the personnel policy of the interim will be balanced, the specialists who work today in the administration will continue their work.” But the head of the Smolensk branch of A Just Russia - For the Truth, Andrei Ivanov, considers the resignation of Governor Ostrovsky "absolutely logical": "The only thing is that this should have been done earlier."

After meeting with Vladimir Putin, Vasily Anokhin told Kommersant that "in the very near future" he would proceed to the Smolensk region: "The tasks have been set by the president, we will fulfill them." The official also assured that he was not planning major personnel changes. “I personally know many as professionals who have given many years of their lives to this work. We have experience of interaction and mutual understanding. The question of resignation can arise only in relation to those who are not coping with their duties, ”Mr. Anokhin told Kommersant.

Regional policy expert Vitaly Ivanov characterizes Mr. Ostrovsky as a very average governor.

“Basically, he’s just a regular backbencher. As a leader, he did not differ much from his colleagues, either in a negative or in a positive direction. And I can't remember any bad news coming from the Smolensk region lately,” says Mr. Ivanov. At the same time, he draws attention to the steady decline in the representation of the Liberal Democratic Party in the governor's corps. So, until 2021, the “Zhirinovites” headed three regions (Khabarovsk Territory, Vladimir and Smolensk Regions), and now one. “It seems that after the death of Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the attitude towards his party has changed for the worse,” the expert concludes.

Political consultant Yevgeny Minchenko believes that Alexei Ostrovsky, who retired, was a "middle peasant" governor without much "federal patronage." In the current situation, according to the expert, the mandatory representation of parliamentary parties in the governor's corps is not so important. “In general, I would note that this appointment is an indicator of the growing influence of Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin, in whose orbit Anokhin enters,” Mr. Minchenko summed up.

Andrei Ash, Ksenia Veretennikova, Andrei Vinokurov, Elena Rozhkova; Alexander Asadchiy, Smolensk

Source link