Russian governors getting fired to switch focus from unpopular pension reform
The Kremlin will try to use corruption scandals to distract people from the real issues.
Eight Russian governors are going to become sacrificed to the pension reform, Znak.com reported citing several sources. This time, the "falling governors" phenomenon will be presented as a purification of the regional administrations rather than their renewal. The incumbent regional leaders could even be prosecuted, the source said. The federal center will try to use the corruption scandals to distract people’s attention from the pension reform. Protests are expected in the autumn when the dacha and vacations season will be over.
Switching the agenda is a technique widely and variously used in Russian politics, the newspaper writes. Alexander Kynev, the head of Information Policy Development Fund’s regional programs, believes it would hardly be possible to make the negative sentiments switch from the retirement age to the governors since the regional heads have shown their complete Kremlin dependence in the recent years, so citizens do not see them as a separate entity.
Among the retirement candidates are Marina Kovtun (Murmansk region), Oleg Korolev (Lipetsk region), Alexander Mikhailov (Kursk region), Rustem Khamitov (Bashkortostan), Alexander Zhilkin (Astrakhan region), Georgy Poltavchenko (St. Petersburg), Sergei Aksenov (Crimea), Rashid Temrezov (Karachay-Cherkessia).
This year has seen the dismissals of the Yakut head Yegor Borisov, Magadan head Vladimir Pecheny, Kuzbass head Aman Tuleev, Altai head Alexander Karlin, Tyumen head Vladimir Yakushev, and Yamal-Nenets head Dmitry Kobylkin.
In the autumn of 2017, 11 regions lost their governors: Samara, Nizhny Novgorod, Oryol, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Ivanovo, Pskov, Primorsky, Krasnoyarsk, Nenets, and Dagestan.
16 governors will be elected in September 2018; some of them have been performing the duties temporarily since their predecessors had to quit early.