The governor of the Ulyanovsk region, Alexei Russkikh, criticized officials for going abroad on vacation in a “line” and then publishing photos on social networks. He noted that he had previously given recommendations to refrain from traveling abroad while a special military operation was underway, but this time he instructed to prepare a special order on this matter. The governor’s administration does not yet know what specific requirements will be in this legal act, referring to the fact that it is necessary to carefully study all documents and laws, however, they note that the document will be prepared in the coming days. Officials who have been on vacation abroad and reported on social networks about this will be dealt with by the ethics commission of the regional government.
On Tuesday, the governor of the Ulyanovsk region, Alexei Russkikh, at a meeting of the headquarters for the integrated development of the region (a staff meeting) criticized officials for going on vacation abroad on New Year’s holidays and demonstrating this on social networks.
“I have already recommended that government employees and all officials refrain from taking vacations abroad during a special military operation … Of course, we cannot ban this, but once again I strongly recommend it. I ask you to prepare an order under my signature. Not only do they go there in a row, they also put them up on social networks … You know perfectly well who I’m talking about, Ramil Evgenievich (Ramil Egorov, Minister of Sports. – “Kommersant”), Oleg Modorisovich (Oleg Yagfarov, director of the OGKU “Government for citizens”. – “Kommersant”), your employees are also abusing, figure it out for yourself. And if you can’t figure it out, I’ll figure it out myself. And more so that this does not happen, ”said the governor.
We are talking about Deputy Minister of Sports Maxim Sobolev, who spent a romantic vacation in Sri Lanka, and Svetlana Openysheva, Deputy Director of the Government for Citizens State Public Institution of Ukraine, who also posted photos of holidays at sea abroad (apparently, in Thailand) on VK.
Earlier, on January 9, the Kompromat Ulyanovsk Telegram channel posted photos of Maxim Sobolev’s vacation from his VK page, calling it “moral decay” “at a time when the attention of the whole country is directed to helping the military.” It was against the unfound authors of this Telegram channel, which constantly criticizes the regional executive power, that a criminal case was initiated on libel widespread on the Internet (part 2 of article 128.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, up to two years in prison) according to the statements of the head of the administration of the governor Vyacheslav Barynin and the minister physical education and sports Ramil Egorov.
Ramil Yegorov, in an interview with Kommersant, explained that an internal audit would be carried out regarding the vacation of his deputy, “as a result of which a disciplinary sanction will be issued.” “There are only three options for recovery – remark, reprimand, dismissal. In connection with the violation of the code of ethics of a civil servant, none of the options is excluded,” the minister noted.
Oleg Yagfarov told Kommersant that he would not deal with it, “but the personnel commission of the government of the Ulyanovsk region, what it decides will be.”
For Svetlana Openysheva, this is already the second trouble associated with social networks – in 2019, while on vacation, she posted a selfie on Instagram, in which she undergoes a procedure in a naftalan (petroleum) bath at the Garabag Resort & Spa hotel in Azerbaijan (Naftalan city). The caption under the photo was: “There is no such thing as too much chocolate.” Since there were no other explanations, many took the humor literally, after which the photo with the caption spread through open social networks with unflattering comments, to which the governor of the region, Sergei Morozov, responded, saying that he had decided to “conduct an internal audit and fire Openysheva,” because “you can’t boast like that with their wealth.” The Government Commission on Ethics came to the conclusion that with her post Ms. Openysheva “to some extent dishonored the honor and dignity of the official” and recommended that the governor reprimand her.
In what form the governor’s order will be prepared – on a ban on traveling abroad or on a ban on publishing photos from their trips, is unknown. Aleksey Preobrazhensky, head of the state-legal department of the governor’s administration, said that “the topic has not yet been worked out”, “it will still be necessary to carefully study all documents and regulations, legislation, the code of professional ethics for employees of the government of the Ulyanovsk region.” “It will also be necessary to consult with colleagues from the control and supervisory authorities, in addition, we understand that departure is regulated by the relevant legislation. The document will be prepared in the near future,” Mr. Preobrazhensky said.
The regional Code of Professional Ethics for Employees of the Government of the Ulyanovsk Region and the Executive Bodies of Government of the Region does not contain specific requirements to prohibit posting vacation photos or trips to expensive foreign resorts on social networks, however, it is noted that “employees should do their best to promote the formation of a positive image of public authorities and refrain from conduct that could damage their reputation or authority.”