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  Wednesday, October 21, 2020
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President Vladimir Putin dismissed Vladimir Loginov from his post as governor of the Koryak Autonomous District
Yesterday, President Vladimir Putin dismissed Vladimir Loginov from his post as governor of the Koryak Autonomous District (Kamchatka) "for losing the Russian president's trust after failing to fulfill his obligations appropriately," writes Kommersant. Interestingly, this "demonstrative whipping" was handed out to a popularly elected regional leader (Mr. Loginov was reelected in a direct vote last summer). The majority of Russians will understand the reason for the dismissal: heating shortages. The provision on losing the president's trust is contained in one of the president-proposed laws that abolished gubernatorial elections and stipulated that gubernatorial candidates should be approved by local legislatures. The legislation was adopted in December 2004. However, the provision did not attract much attention at that time. Many people decided the provision only concerned governors appointed under the new procedure. In reality, the provision does not contain any "privileges" for popularly elected governors. The president has the right to dismiss both governors appointed under the new procedure and elected governors, even if the latter only took up their positions recently. The Kremlin obviously decided it was time to flex its muscles. Neither the governor himself nor the regional situation is likely to be the crux of the matter. There are governors who are less popular in Moscow than Mr. Loginov, and Russia has seen bigger energy crises than the one in the Koryak autonomy. Yesterday's dismissal seems to be a warning to those governors who were positive they would retain their posts until their terms expired. Mr. Loginov was obviously a scapegoat. If the other governors draw the appropriate conclusions from the Koryak affair, it may be a long time before the next dismissal
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