The successful completion of regional elections and the upcoming presidential campaign have a positive impact on the overall level of political stability of the gubernatorial corps, as follows from the latest release of the “State Council 2.0” rating prepared by Minchenko Consulting. Compared to the summer of this year, 14 regional heads immediately rose from “average” to “excellent”, and only one fell in the opposite direction. The number of outsiders who, according to the authors of the report, may be at risk of resignation, remained unchanged: these are the heads of Komi and Ingushetia Vladimir Uiba and Makhmud-Ali Kalimatov, as well as the governor of the Bryansk region Alexander Bogomaz.
The overall level of political stability of the gubernatorial corps on the eve of the presidential campaign shows a significant increase thanks to “consolidation around the flag” and the extension of the powers of every fourth head in the September 2023 elections. This is also facilitated by a reduction in the level of internal conflict and increased control over municipal politics, the report says.
Compared to the pre-election period (see “Kommersant” dated August 14) the “State Council 2.0” rating has noticeably turned green, primarily due to the Central, Siberian and Far Eastern federal districts.
Let us remind you that Minchenko Consulting ranks the stability of governors based on nine criteria, six of which bring points (support of federal politicians, economic attractiveness of the region, presence of large projects, quality of political management, etc.), and three more are taken away (federal and regional conflicts, criminal cases). Those who score more than 15 points fall into the “green” zone, and ten points or less into the “red” zone (risk of resignation). The rest are in the “yellow” category.
Among the governors of the Central Federal District, Vasily Anokhin, Stanislav Voskresensky and Andrey Klychkov, who won in September, rose from the “yellow” to the “green” zone. Ryazan Governor Pavel Malkov also strengthened his position, having managed to improve the quality of political management and quell regional conflicts. The leaders among the “excellent students” of the Central Federal District remained Sergei Sobyanin (Moscow), Andrey Vorobyov (Moscow region) and Alexey Dyumin (Tula region), but the outsider has changed: instead of the Kostroma governor Sergei Sitnikov, Bryansk Alexander Bogomaz dropped into the “red” zone. “The general reduction in conflict is working for many heads, including Sitnikov,” the head of the company, Evgeny Minchenko, explained to Kommersant. “There are questions for Bogomaz about the efficiency of work in border areas.”
In the Siberian Federal District, the “green” zone included those re-elected to a new term, Viktor Tomenko (Altai Territory) and Andrei Travnikov (Novosibirsk Region), as well as the governor of the Irkutsk region, Igor Kobzev, thanks to the convincing victory of United Russia in the elections to the legislative assembly of the Angara region, the report specifies. The head of Khakassia, Valentin Konovalov, whose resignation Minchenko Consulting experts had been predicting since 2019, also defended his post in the last elections and for the first time in a long time managed to rise from the “red” zone to the “yellow” zone.
Finally, among the Far Eastern governors, the heads of Primorye, Chukotka, Buryatia and Transbaikalia Oleg Kozhemyako, Vladislav Kuznetsov, Alexey Tsydenov and Alexander Osipov strengthened their positions. All of them moved into the “green” zone due to successful elections: Messrs. Kozhemyako and Kuznetsov won the gubernatorial elections, and Messrs. Tsydenov and Osipov ensured a confident victory for United Russia in the parliamentary elections.
In other federal districts, changes in the stability of regional leaders are not so significant.
Thus, in the Volga region, due to a criminal case against the former prime minister of the regional government, Viktor Kudryashov, the governor of the Samara region, Dmitry Azarov, fell into the “middle peasants”, and his place in the “green” zone was taken by the head of the Perm region, Dmitry Makhonin. In the Ural district, the governor of the Kurgan region, Vadim Shumkov, joined the cohort of “excellent students”; in the North Caucasus, the head of the Stavropol region, Vladimir Vladimirov. In the Southern and Northwestern districts, everyone remained in their places (in the “red” zone - only the head of Komi, Vladimir Uiba).
Of the 17 governors whose powers expire next year, the worst situation is with the head of Ingushetia, Makhmud-Ali Kalimatov, who, according to Minchenko Consulting, is at risk of losing his post. Among the remaining incumbents, the strongest positions are held by Roman Starovoyt (Kursk region), Alexey Teksler (Chelyabinsk region), Andrey Chibis (Murmansk region), Sergey Aksenov (Crimea), Vladimir Vladimirov, Alexander Osipov and Vadim Shumkov.
The Governor of St. Petersburg, Alexander Beglov, according to experts, is in the “yellow” zone. Considering the status of the city and the intersection of interests of several federal influence groups, the internal politics of St. Petersburg before the 2024 elections will largely reflect the dynamics of political processes in the Kremlin itself, states Minchenko Consulting. As for the only acting leader so far, the new Vologda leader Georgy Filimonov, the authors estimate his starting position in the ranking at 14 points (“yellow” zone).
In general, the context of the upcoming regional elections is still more difficult to predict than the presidential elections, since after March 2024 new strategic decisions may follow, both on special operations and on economic restructuring, the report says.
In addition, the formation of a new cabinet and composition of the presidential administration increases the likelihood that some governors may enter the renewed federal government bodies. And, on the contrary, future federal retirees may be sent to the regions, including to replace heads whose powers are nearing their end. Among the most likely candidates for “promotion,” according to Minchenko Consulting, are Sergei Sobyanin, Andrei Vorobyov, Stanislav Voskresensky, Alexander Drozdenko (Leningrad region), Andrei Nikitin (Novgorod region), Sergei Aksenov, Vladimir Vladimirov, Gleb Nikitin (Nizhny Novgorod region) region), Dmitry Makhonin, Dmitry Artyukhov (Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug), Evgeny Kuyvashev (Sverdlovsk region), Sergey Tsivilev (Kuzbass), Oleg Kozhemyako, Alexey Tsydenov and Sergey Nosov (Magadan region).