She was far from the first – since 2017, the media and telegram channels, citing 100% sources, periodically predicted Alexander Uss to leave his post. But this time, the assumptions are based on high-profile corruption scandals, including those related to the theft of funds allocated for construction in the metro region. How great are the real chances of Uss to go for a new term, it will become clear by the end of spring. Until that time, the key region of Siberia will have to live in conditions of political tension.
The gubernatorial campaign that is starting in Russia is fundamentally different from the previous ones. Previously, already a year before the elections, the Kremlin began purges in the governor’s corps. Inefficient heads of regions were massively removed from their posts and their future successors were appointed acting. Programs were formed with which candidates went to the next elections. In this electoral cycle, the tradition was interrupted.
The decision to cancel the governor’s fall was well thought out. Under the conditions of a special military operation and numerous external threats, any personnel shifts could provoke intra-elite conflicts that could prevent the mobilization of the population to support the authorities. However, the closer the end of the term of office of the governors completing their work in 2023, the more difficult it is to maintain silence on the ground. The local elites want certainty and are rekindling internecine feuds.
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One of the first constituent entities of the Russian Federation where the situation escalated was, as expected, the Krasnoyarsk Territory. In this region, over the past decades, the interests of several financial, industrial and political groups have clashed, which led to protracted political and information wars.
The other day, rumors were voiced in local telegram channels that Moscow sees the Minister of Natural Resources and Ecology of the Russian Federation Alexander Kozlov as a replacement for Alexander Ussa.
This is perhaps the most exotic version not only for the Krasnoyarsk Territory, but for the whole of Russia, since the country’s recent political history does not know of examples when an acting federal official of this level would be appointed head of the region.
Only the opposite is possible, as happened, for example, with one of the predecessors of Alexander Uss, Alexander Khloponin, who was appointed Deputy Prime Minister of Russia in 2010.
– The name of the successor is the weakest point. Despite the significance of the Krasnoyarsk Territory for Russia, for Federal Minister Kozlov, the transition to work as the head of a constituent entity of the Russian Federation looks like a serious downgrade in status. It is not entirely clear why he was exiled from Moscow to Siberia. There has been no particular negativity around this figure lately,” political scientist Alexander Chernyavsky told Octagon.Siberia.
Fire for smoke
If we leave aside the various ratings of governors and constituent entities of the Russian Federation, the objectivity of which is sometimes difficult to believe, then we can recall the events that could become hypothetical grounds for Uss’s resignation. For example, forest and domestic fires that have hit the region over the past few years. Or the corruption scandal associated with the construction of the subway. But none of these reasons worked, although Uss’ detractors clearly keep the last topic under the radar of attention.
Recall that the main suspect in the theft of funds allocated for the design of the Krasnoyarsk metro, Oleg Mitvol, has been in jail for almost a year. The minister of transport of the region Konstantin Dimitrov and the former head of the state institution “Regional Transport Administration” Konstantin Mandrov are also serving a preventive measure there. Mitvol was transferred to the hospital a few days ago due to a sharp deterioration in his health. By the way, anonymous sources also used this fact, starting to circulate rumors about a possible poisoning, thereby leading the reader to the idea that someone powerful, who was behind Mitvol, was covering his tracks. In the GUFSIN of Russia in the Krasnoyarsk Territory, the publication found it difficult to comment on the version of the poisoning and promised to clarify information about the state of health of Oleg Mitvol later.
Not an exemplary prime minister
Now the region is discussing the assumption that the head of the regional government, Yuri Lapshin, may also be involved in the theft of funds allocated for the construction of the metro. RIA Novosti, citing sources in law enforcement agencies, reported that a criminal case had been opened against the official a few months ago and he was under house arrest.
In the main investigative department of the Investigative Committee of Russia for the Krasnoyarsk Territory and the Republic of Khakassia, Oktagon.Siberia stated that they had no such case. The FSB and the Ministry of Internal Affairs remain silent. The interlocutor of the publication in the regional government said that Lapshin had recently returned from vacation, “cheerful, cheerful.” The deputy of the regional legislative assembly Alexander Gliskov at yesterday’s session directly asked the speaker Alexei Dodatko the question: “What (happened) with the prime minister?” To this, the Chairman of the Legislative Assembly replied: “Everything is in order. I don’t think you should worry.” In a word, the situation with Lapshin remains unclear.
– I think it’s not just that another rumor about the departure of the governor coincided with information about problems with the security forces of the chairman of the government of the region, Yuri Lapshin. The negative context contributes to the good spread of such rumors, – said political scientist Alexander Chernyavsky.
Alexander Uss himself had previously stated that he was ready to run for a second term. With, of course, the confidence of the President of the Russian Federation. Now he repeats this thought again. And he recalls that he has already lost count, trying to remember how many times in his entire political career he was sent into early retirement. It is worth noting that the governor paused before commenting on the rumors, which suggests that Uss is confident in his position.
“Once I was elected to the post of chairman of the legislative assembly, and a number of well-wishers predicted to me that I would end my career in exactly three months. But it so happened that I worked for 20 years. When the president appointed me to act as governor of the Krasnoyarsk Territory, well-wishers, although others, said that I would finalize it before the New Year. Five and a half years have passed. Every quarter my resignation is predicted. The position of governor is not a privilege or an award. This is work, this is a difficult mission that I have carried out and will carry out as long as the president and my fellow countrymen from Krasnoyarsk determine,” the head of the region said on February 8.
A draft from the north
The MMC Norilsk Nickel is once again called the probable customer of the current hearing attack on Alexander Uss. At least, one of the most possible of its authors. The company has gubernatorial ambitions, and Uss has never belonged to the pool of politicians close to her. Perhaps there was an attempt to probe the situation.
At the same time, everyone is well aware that it is unrealistic to influence the Kremlin’s personnel decisions with such methods. As well as predicting these decisions at the regional level.
“When they start telling me about some kind of gubernatorial ratings, I ask them to show me these ratings. Not publications in anonymous Telegram channels, not expert assessments of political scientists in mother’s sweatshirts, but ratings prepared by professional sociological companies. What is the point in guessing for the 1001st time on coffee grounds: they will set aside, they will not set aside, they will appoint Pupkin or Tsuryupkin. Everyone understands that only One Person makes the decision. And when he accepts it, we will immediately find out everything about it, ”Denis Terekhov, deputy of the Legislative Assembly of the Krasnoyarsk Territory, is convinced.