Putin appoints new strongman for Northwest Russia
Gutsan comes from the post as Deputy General Prosecutor. He has his law degree from St.Petersburg and has spent his whole professional career in the prosecutor’s office working with issues related to federal security.
His appointment comes after Aleksandr Beglov, the former leader the Northwest Russian District, on 3rd October took over the post as Governor of St.Peterburg.
The appointment was on Wednesday announced by the Kremlin.
Aleksandr Gutsan is believed to be closely associated with the FSB and powerful interests in the top echelons of the state apparatus. Both he and his wife Nataliya Gutsan, who heads the St.Petersburg Supreme Court, studied law together with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and are believed to have kept a close relationship with the premier.
For people in Scandinavia, Gutsan became known as the hardline St.Petersburg general prosecutor that fought against the release of Aleksandr Nikitin, the former nuclear submarine officer and nuclear safety inspector who was charged with espionage in 1996.
Gutsan and the FSB lost the Nikitin-case in late 1999, a major blow to the security service. Almost two decades later, the federal official climbs to one of the top positions in the country.
The Northwest Russian Federal District (Okrug) is managed from St.Petersburg and includes 11 federal subjects, among them Arctic regions Murmansk and Arkhangelsk. It is top responsible for Kremlin-policy in the region.
The federal districts were established by Vladimir Putin immediately after his coming to power in year 2000. The country today has a total of eight federal districts.