Reshuffling of governors in Arkhangelsk, Komi and Nenets
In a statement posted on the Governor’s portal, 55-years old Igor Orlov explains why he now wants to resign:
“According to sociological studies among a number of professional companies, I understand it is necessary to contact the President of the Russian Federation in order to make a decision about who will be ready to prepare the Arkhangelsk region for the upcoming governor elections. Based on this, I wrote a letter of resignation.”
Regional news online 29.ru refer to the last governor elections, in 2015, when only 21% of the voters came to the polls. Orlov got 53% of the votes, which means that actually only about 10% of the adult population in the Arkhangelsk region have voted for Orlov.
News agency RBC reports, with reference to an opinion poll conducted for the presidential administration in 2018 and 2019, that Orlov was one of the five governors in Russia with lowest ratings among the population.
Igor Orlov lack of popularity among the population in Arkhangelsk Oblast is closely linked with the construction of the huge landfill for municipal waste from Moscow. The site chosen, Shies, is far from populated areas on the border between Arkhangelsk region and the Komi Republic.
However, the dumpsite has triggered massive public demonstrations all over northwest Russia. The protests in the region have been the largest since the fall of the Soviet Union.
Igor Orlov is originally from Donetsk in Ukraine but moved to Severodvinsk in Arkhangelsk region in 1987 where he started to work at the Zvezdocka submarine repair yard.
President Putin’s envoy of the Northwestern Federal District, Aleksandr Gutsan, is reportedly going to announce the name of the new governor on Friday, Kommersant writes.
Merging with Nenets AO
The current governor of the Nenets Autonomous Okrug, Aleksandr Tsibulsky, was Thursday evening appointed interim governor of Arkhangelsk Oblast. Yuri Bezudny takes over the governor’s office in the Nenets AO capital Naryan-Mar, the regional authorities’ portal reports.
Pointing to sources in the Kremlin, RBC reports that Nenets Autonomous Okrug and Arkhangelsk Oblast most likely will be merged into one federal unit.
Komi governor also resigns
Igor Orlov was not the only governor to resign on Thursday. In neighboring Komi Republic, Sergey Gaplikov announced his resignation only a few hours after Orlov made his statement.
Gaplikov published a video on the Russian social media network Vkontakte where he said with a serious face that his decision came “after many and serious thoughts,” regional news online 7x7 Journal reports.
49-years old Gaplikov was born in Kyrgyzstan but grew up in Siberia. He had no connections to the Komi Republic before being appointed governor in September 2015. Gaplikov took office after former Komi Governor Vyacheslav Gaizer was arrested on suspicion of organizing a criminal gang.