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Russia Report: January 16, 2004

16 January 2004, Volume 4, Number 2
By Vladimir Kovalev

In a bit more than a decade, the current map of Russia -- a patchwork quilt of 89 districts, some of which are much larger than Alaska and some of which are considerably smaller than Rhode Island -- could be transformed into a much more streamlined layout, with the number of federation subjects cut at least in half. The beginnings of this process are already taking place.

On 7 December, voters in Komi-Permyak Autonomous Okrug and Perm Oblast went to the polls not only to elect new national legislators but also to cast their votes in referendums on the unification of their two regions. The referendums passed overwhelmingly, and shortly thereafter, governors of many other regions saw an opportunity to remain in power for more terms than is currently allowed under their regional charters. They began imagining being elected governor of the new, larger regions -- elected under new, yet-to-be-written regional constitutions.

Publicly, many regional leaders argued that larger federation subjects could bring advantages to people now living in the country's smaller and economically weaker territories. But the reactions of the regional elites to the impending Perm merger -- and the prospect of repeating the process elsewhere -- were not uniformly positive. Formally peaceful neighbors began to argue.

For example, some Yekaterinburg-based officials suggested that Sverdlovsk Oblast could benefit from unification with neighboring Kurgan Oblast because Sverdlovsk Oblast has considerable industrial potential, while Kurgan Oblast has a well-developed agricultural complex. "It would have been more economically expedient not to break up Kurgan Oblast, but to unify it with Chelyabinsk and Sverdlovsk oblasts into such a powerful region, where almost 10 million people live," Sverdlovsk Oblast Governor Eduard Rossel said at a press conference on 22 December. Together with Chelyabinsk and Kurgan oblasts, Rossel continued, "we would have become financially independent. [The Russian Federation] wouldn't have had to take care of Kurgan Oblast. We would have taken care of it."

Sverdlovsk Oblast officials tried to suggest to residents of the city of Yekaterinburg that they would be able to get more fresh food, while its neighbor would receive more agricultural equipment from the industrially developed region. The only problem was that the regional elite of Kurgan Oblast were not pleased with the proposal, preferring to manage their agricultural treasures themselves without ceding any control to others.

The ruling elite in the northwest were agitated when presidential envoy to the Northwest Federal District Ilya Klebanov announced in December that he has plans to merge some of the federation subjects in his district. Klebanov said his office is in the process of submitting a plan to President Vladimir Putin that would unify Nenets Autonomous Okrug with either Arkhangelsk Oblast or Komi Republic, and Pskov Oblast with Novgorod Oblast.

Klebanov did not mention St. Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast, but St. Petersburg legislators anticipated his next move in late December by trying to pass a resolution to conduct a merger referendum in March. The question posed by the proposed referendum was: "Do you agree that St. Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast should be merged into a new region of the Russian Federation -- Peterburg Guberniya -- a structure within which St. Petersburg would be a city with federal status, determined by the Peterburg Provincial Charter according to the legislation of Russian Federation?"

Although deputies failed to pass the referendum motion, potentially affected parties were quick to respond. Leningrad Oblast Governor Valerii Serdyukov spoke out strongly against the measure in an address to the St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly, condemning it as "political speculation." St. Petersburg Governor Valentina Matvienko was not bold enough to support the legislators' move directly, although such a merger could serve her interests by enabling her to stay in St. Petersburg's City Hall possibly until 2020 or beyond. Assuming that she continues to receive the same level of Kremlin support that she did when running for her first term last year, she could theoretically win re-election in 2008, serve until 2012, and then run to head the new, merged region, where she most likely would be eligible to serve at least two more terms. Matvienko most likely demurred from openly supporting the bill in order to avoid a direct clash with Serdyukov.

It is possible that St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly deputies found inspiration for their initiative not only from Klebanov, but from Putin himself. Putin said on 18 December that he does not oppose the idea of merging some regions in principle. "If the people consider this necessary and justified, we will support it," Putin said. This typically vague presidential pronouncement left politicians a lot of room for interpretation.

Leningrad Oblast Legislature Chairman Kirill Polyankov interpreted Putin's words by claiming the president was not talking was not about St. Petersburg at all. "The president was talking about merging regions that live on state subsidies, that get more than 60 percent of their budgets as subsidies from the [federal budget], into [more economically viable] regions. St. Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast are both regions that contribute more money to the federal budget [than they receive]," Polyakov said.

Putin's statement about leaving the issue up to the people's would seem to free local politicians to act in their own interests, and it strikes a particularly false note in St. Petersburg, where the gubernatorial campaign last summer left many people feeling they actually had no choice but to endorse the candidate selected by the Kremlin. Considering that even such local matters as who should be named to head the St. Petersburg Property Committee apparently cannot be decided without consultations with the presidential administration, one does not have to be too cynical to believe that a question as momentous as a merger "according to the will of the people" would only be settled following a Kremlin decision.

Politicians, of course, have considerable room to maneuver, since the majority of Russian citizens have not formed any opinion on such matters. According to a Public Opinion Foundation poll conducted in November across Russia, 29 percent of respondents agreed that mergers would bring advantages, while 17 disagreed, and 22 percent thought nothing would change. Another 33 percent had no answer. These results -- and the results of the referendums in Perm Oblast and Komi-Permyak Autonomous Okrug -- indicate that serious public opposition to revising the structure of the federation seems unlikely, although citizens might view matters differently when the question is posed more concretely about the regions where they are living.

In the next few years, regional elites will find themselves struggling for Putin's permission to remain in power longer, and St. Petersburg's governor is no exception to this trend. Matvienko and her allies would like increased control over lucrative projects in Leningrad Oblast such as production plants built by Caterpillar, Philip Morris, and the Ford Motor Company, as well as over the oil and cargo terminals that have been built in the oblast over the last few years.

Matvienko's colleagues in other regions have their own interests, of course, but the results will likely be the same: weaker governors are going to lose their jobs, while a select number of powerful regional leaders are likely to secure their grip on power for the foreseeable future.

(Vladimir Kovalev covers local politics for "The St. Petersburg Times" in St. Petersburg, Russia.)

In sorting out the various factors that might have played a role in Unified Russia's stunning victory in the races for single-mandate-district seats in the 7 December State Duma elections, some analysts have pointed to the changing role of Russia's political parties. In an interview with "Vedomosti" published on 9 December, State Duma Deputy Vladimir Ryzhkov (independent) noted that the "party brand" played a larger role in the single-mandate races in these elections than it did in the past. According to Ryzhkov, some little-known candidates were elected simply because they had the support of Unified Russia.

Certainly the Unified Russia brand performed much better in the 2003 single-mandate districts than those of Unity or Fatherland-All Russia -- the parties on which Unified Russia was based -- did in 1999. Unified Russia won 104 races in single-mandate districts, compared with just eight victories for Unity and 30 for Fatherland-All Russia (OVR) four years ago (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 6 January 2000). In addition, only half of Unified Russia's winning candidates were either members of the previous Duma or held elective office at a regional or municipal level (see table below). The remainder were mainly businesspeople and regional bureaucrats, with a sprinkling of regional police and security officials.

The fact that fewer nonparty or independent candidates won in 2003 than in 1999 -- 68 compared with 87 -- would also seem to lend support to the notion that party backing made a bigger difference this time around. The 2003 winning candidates themselves also seemed to attach increased value to having a party backing them up. The majority of candidates who won in both 1999 and 2003 had party affiliations, while 24 deputies who won as independents in 1999 ran and won last year as party candidates.

Although Unified Russia's party label -- as well as that of fellow newcomer Motherland-Patriotic Union -- produced results on 7 December, many parties with much more established reputations -- including the Communist Party, Yabloko, and the Union of Rightist Forces (SPS) -- fared poorly. Although Vladimir Zhirinovskii's nationalist Liberal-Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) performed surprisingly well in the party-list vote, LDPR candidates failed to win even one single-mandate district.

In other words, those political parties that were actually parties in the normal sense of the term -- political organizations with a widely identifiable set of positions and beliefs -- were decimated. In 1999, Communist Party-backed candidates won in 56 districts, while in 2003 the party managed to squeeze out just 12 victories. Likewise, candidates backed by the rightist parties also performed poorly: Yabloko won in only four races, and SPS in just three.

On the face of it, Ryzhkov is correct that more candidates bearing the Unified Russia label won. But did they win because that label brought with it powerful financial and administrative resources? Or did the leaders of Unified Russia -- unhampered by any ideology beyond supporting President Putin -- leverage their resources by picking candidates that were already easily marketable?

Communist Party and Yabloko leaders have charged that Unified Russia not only had the advantages of money, proximity to local political institutions, and a monopoly on positive media coverage, but they also cheated. The Communist Party asked for a hand recount in 11 regions where it believes the official results were skewed, but the Central Election Commission quickly and categorically rejected that appeal. Yabloko is currently conducting its own national recount, and party officials have said that preliminary results of that effort indicate considerable fraud (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 13 January 2004).

Although even the Communists do not challenge that Unified Russia won the 7 December election, the question of just how they won continues to be relevant. (Julie A. Corwin)

In the list below, the region where the deputy's district is located is given in parentheses. If a deputy served in the last State Duma, his or her former faction or deputies' group is indicated in square brackets.

Plotnikov, Vladimir (Volgograd) [Agro-Industrial group]
Pekpeev, Sergei (Altai Republic) [Fatherland-Unified Russia]

Igoshin, Igor (Vladimir) [Agro-Industrial group]
Kharitonov, Nikolai (Novosibirsk) [Agro-Industrial group]
Ostanina, Nina (Kemerovo) [Agro-Industrial group]
Semigin, Gennadii (Khakasia) [Agro-Industrial group]
Shtogrin, Sergei (Jewish Autonomous Oblast) [Agro-Industrial group]
Smolin, Oleg (Omsk) [Agro-Industrial group]
Zhdakaev, Ivan (Sakhalin) [Agro-Industrial group]
Sevastyanov, Vitalii (Krasnodar) [Communist]
Shvets, Lyubov (Novosibirsk) [Communist]
Lokot, Anatolii (Novosibirsk) Communist Party oblast committee secretary
Makashov, Albert (Samara) pensioner, former State Duma deputy
Sobko, Sergei (Moscow Oblast) businessman

Dmitrieva, Oksana (St. Petersburg)

Yuzhilin, Vitalii (Leningrad) [Agro-Industrial group]
Glazev, Sergei (Moscow Oblast) [Communist]
Rogozin, Dmitrii (Voronezh) [People's Deputy]
Shishkarev, Sergei (Krasnodar) [People's Deputy]
Greshnevikov, Anatolii (Yaroslavl) [Russian Regions]
Savelev, Dmitrii (Tula) [Union of Rightist Forces] former president of Transneft
Kharchenko, Ivan (Krasnodar) regional legislator
Sentyurin, Yurii (Nizhnii Novgorod), regional official

Viktor Pokhmelkin (Perm) [independent]

Savostyanova, Valentina (Perm) [Russian Regions]
Seleznev, Gennadii (St. Petersburg) [independent] former State Duma speaker
Bakov, Anton (Sverdlovsk) regional legislator

Chaika, Valentin (Vologda) [Fatherland-Unified Russia]
Aksakov, Anatolii (Chuvashia) [People's Deputy]
Averchenko, Vladimir (Rostov) [People's Deputy]
Baskaev, Arkadii (Moscow Oblast) [People's Deputy]
Belousov, Aleksandr (Samara) [People's Deputy]
Galchenko, Valerii (Moscow Oblast) [People's Deputy]
Gerasimenko, Nikolai (Altai Krai) [People's Deputy]
Gudkov, Gennadii (Moscow Oblast) [People's Deputy]
Ivanov, Anatolii (Samara) [People's Deputy]
Kolesnikov, Sergei (Irkutsk) [People's Deputy]
Konev, Yurii (Tyumen) [People's Deputy]
Leontev, Georgii (Sverdlovsk) [People's Deputy]
Makhachev, Gadzhi (Daghestan) [People's Deputy] former director Rosneft-Dagnefti
Mutsoev, Zelimkhan (Sverdlovsk) [People's Deputy] former chairman of Uraltrubostal
Raikov, Gennadii (Tyumen) [People's Deputy, faction leader]
Shport, Vyacheslav (Khabarovsk) [People's Deputy]
Voitenko, Viktor (Chita) [People's Deputy]

Boos, Georgii (Moscow city) [Fatherland-Unified Russia] former tax minister
Bulaev, Nikolai (Ryazan) [Fatherland-Unified Russia]
Draganov, Valerii (Moscow city) [Fatherland-Unified Russia]
Galushkin,Vasilii (Volgograd) [Fatherland-Unified Russia]
Grebennikov, Valerii (Moscow city) [Fatherland-Unified Russia]
Grishin, Viktor (Mordovia) [Fatherland-Unified Russia]
Klyukin, Aleksandr (Krasnoyarsk) [Fatherland-Unified Russia]
Korzhakov, Aleksandr (Tula) [Fatherland-Unified Russia] Former President Boris Yeltsin's chief of security
Kovalev, Nikolai (Moscow Oblast) [Fatherland-Unified Russia] former FSB director
Kulik, Gennadii (Kalmykia) [Fatherland-All Russia] former deputy prime minister
Litvinov, Vladimir (Rostov) [Fatherland-Unified Russia]
Medvedev, Pavel (Moscow city) [Fatherland-Unified Russia]
Neverov, Sergei (Kemerovo) [Fatherland-Unified Russia]
Orgolainen, Aleksandr (Vologda) [Fatherland-Unified Russia]
Rudenskii, Igor (Penza) [Fatherland-Unified Russia]
Ryazanskii, Valerii (Moscow city) [Fatherland-Unified Russia]
Semenov,Viktor (Moscow Oblast) [Fatherland-Unified Russia] former agriculture minister
Shirokov, Sergei (Moscow city) [Fatherland-Unified Russia]
Smirnova, Svetlana (Udmurtia) [Fatherland-Unified Russia]
Sukhoi, Nikolai (Saratov) [Fatherland-Unified Russia]
Volodin, Vyacheslav (Saratov) [Fatherland-Unified Russia, faction leader]
Yakovleva, Tatyana (Ivanovo) [Fatherland-Unified Russia]
Grishankov, Mikhail (Chelyabinsk) [People's Deputy]
Pivnenko, Valentina (Karelia) [People's Deputy]
Chernyshenko, Igor (Murmansk) [Russian Regions]
Chilingarov, Artur (Nenets) [Russian Regions]
Grebenyuk, Vladimir (Rostov) [Russian Regions]
Ivanova, Valentina (St. Petersburg) [Russian Regions]
Medvedev, Yurii (Perm) [Russian Regions]
Morozov, Oleg (Tatarstan) [Russian Regions, faction leader]
Saifullin, Franis (Bashkortostan) [Russian Regions]
Shakkum, Martin (Moscow Oblast) [Russian Regions]
Shimanov, Aleksandr (Leningrad) [Russian Regions]
Shuba, Vitalii (Irkutsk) [Russian Regions]
Zhukov, Aleksandr (Moscow city) [Russian Regions]
Aseev, Vladimir (Khanty-Mansii) [Unity-Unified Russia]
Katrenko, Vladimir (Stavropol) [Unity-Unified Russia]
Khramov, Rem (Orenburg) [Unity-Unified Russia]
Klimov, Vladimir (Kirov) [Unity-Unified Russia]
Komarova, Natalya (Yamalo-Nenets) [Unity-Unified Russia]
Komissarov, Valerii (Marii El) [Unity-Unified Russia]
Kuznetsov, Vasilii (Buryatia) [Unity-Unified Russia] former head of Buryatnefteprodukt
Mokryi, Vladimir (Samara) [Unity-Unified Russia]
Yazev, Valerii (Sverdlovsk) [Unity-Unified Russia]
Antufev, Sergei (Smolensk) Federation Council member
Babich, Mikhail (Ivanovo) former prime minister of Chechnya
Chizhov, Sergei (Voronezh) regional legislator
Davletova, Kamiliya (Bashkortostan) regional official
Demchuk, Nikolai (Adygei) regional official
Eliseikin, Stanislav (Magadan) regional legislator
Fraltsova, Tamara (Kemerovo) regional official
Gruzdev, Vladimir (Moscow city) city legislator
Isakov, Igor (Krasnoyarsk) regional legislator
Kalmetev, Mars (Bashkortostan) raion head
Kamaletdinov, Vener (Bashkortostan) raion head
Karmazina, Raisa (Krasnoyarsk) regional legislator
Kazakov, Viktor (Samara) regional official
former Yukos-EP president
Kozeradskii, Anatolii (Nizhnii Novgorod) chief federal inspector for oblast
Magdeev, Marat (Tatarstan) regional legislator
Makarov, Andrei (Kemerovo) regional official
Maksimova, Nadezhda (Karachaevo-Cherkessia) regional official
Malchikhin, Valerii (Arkhangelsk) mayor of Koryazhma
Morozov, Igor (Ryazan) Federation Council member
Nakhushev, Zaurbi (Kabardino-Balkaria) regional political official
Osadchii, Sergei (Moscow city) city legislator
Sablin, Dmitrii (Moscow Oblast) adviser to oblast governor, vice president of Military Brotherhood organization
Salikhov, Albert (Tatarstan) municipal official
Sarychev, Aleksandr (Khanty-Mansii) raion head
Semenkov, Vasilii (Bryansk) regional legislator
Sitnov, Viktor (Taimyr) regional legislator
Tyagunov, Aleksandr (Tver) regional official
Vasiliev, Vladimir (Moscow city) city legislator
Zatulin, Konstantin (Moscow city) adviser to Moscow mayor
Zayashnikov, Yevgenii (Yaroslavsl) Federation Council member
former head of Slavneft-Yaroslavlnefteorgsintez
Zhidkikh, Vladimir (Tomsk) Federation Council member
Ageev, Aleksandr (Volgograd) director of local law firm
Panina, Yelena (Moscow city) chairman of Moscow Conference of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs
Bogomolnyi, Yevgenii (Udmurtia) Udmurtneft general director
Bortsov, Nikolai (Lipetsk) deputy director of the Lebyadyanskii complex
Denin, Nikolai (Bryansk) Snezhka poultry factory head
Derenkovskii, Viktor (Smolensk) chairman of the Center for Plasma Technology
Furman, Aleksandr (Bashkortostan) former Tyumen Oil Company head
Gorbachev, Vladimir (Krasnodar) Southern Telecommunications Company head
Gubaidullin, Rinat (Tatarstan) chairman of Tatfondbank
Khairullin, Airat (Tatarstan) Krasnoi Vostok general director
Knorr, Andrei (Altai Krai) Ekho Produkt general director
Kogan, Aleksandr (Orenburg) chairman of the board of KomInKom
Litvinov, Nikolai (Krasnodar) Armavirskii gas-equipment factory head
Lyubomir, Tyan (Nizhnii Novgorod) Lindek general director
Semenov, Pavel (Chuvashia) Volga-Rosneftetrans general director
Starkov, Anatolii (Bashkortostan) former general director of Kaustika
Stolyarov, Oleg (Evenk) Russian Regions foundation general director
Trepov, Yevgenii (Kostroma) deputy director of the High League trade group
Usoltsev, Vasilii (Primore) Dalpolimetall head
Barinov, Igor (Sverdlovsk) oblast FSB chief
Dyatlenko, Valerii (Rostov) former oblast FSB chief
Rozuvan, Aleksei (Kirovskaya) regional police chief
Sigutkin, Aleksei (Pskov) adviser to interior minister
Vasilev, Vladimir (Tver) deputy interior minister
Volkov, Aleksei (Kursk) head of oblast police
Chukhraev, Aleksandr (Kursk) chief doctor at regional hospital
Ivanov, Valenin (Ulyanovsk) chief researcher at academic institute
Shevelev, Andrei (St. Petersburg) St. Petersburg military academy professor

Krasheninnikov, Pavel (Chelyabinsk) [Union of Rightist Forces] former justice minister
Likhachev, Aleksei (Nizhnii Novgorod) [Union of Rightist Forces]
Fadzaev, Arsen (North Ossetia) sports figure

Popov, Sergei (St. Petersburg) [Yabloko]
Yemelyanov, Mikhail (Rostov) [Yabloko]
Zadornov, Mikhail (Moscow city) [Yabloko] former finance minister
Khovanskaya, Galina (Moscow city) city legislator

Pautov, Viktor (Vladimir) [Communist]
Gimalo, Rafael (Koryak) [Fatherland-Unified Russia]
Olshanskii, Nikolai (Voronezh) [Fatherland-Unified Russia]
Ondar, Chylgychy (Tuva) [Fatherland-Unified Russia]
Shelishch, Petr (St. Petersburg) [Fatherland-Unified Russia]
Skoch, Andrei (Belgorod) [Fatherland-Unified Russia]
Basygysov, Vitalii (Sakha) [People's Deputy]
Kuzin, Vladimir (Ust-Ordynskii Buryatskii) [People's Deputy]
Pekarev, Vladimir (Moscow Oblast) [People's Deputy]
Yurevich, Mikhail (Chelyabinsk) [People's Deputy]
Zubov, Valerii (Krasnoyarsk) [People's Deputy]
Bezborodov, Nikolai (Kurgan) [Russian Regions]
Gartung, Valerii (Chelyabinsk) [Russian Regions]
Katalnikov, Vladimir (Rostov) [Russian Regions]
Klimov, Andrei (Komi-Permyak) [Russian Regions]
Kobzon, Iosif (Aginskii Buryat) [Russian Regions]
Nikitin, Vladimir (Kaliningrad) [Russian Regions]
Reznik, Boris (Khabarovsk) [Russian Regions]
Shein, Oleg (Astrakhan) [Russian Regions]
Anokhin, Pavel (Perm) [Unity-Unified Russia]
Kodzoev, Bashkir (Ingushetia) [Unity-Unified Russia]
Cherepkov, Viktor (Primorskii Krai) [independent]
Gonchar, Nikolai (Moscow city) [independent]
Goryacheva, Svetlana (Primorskii Krai) [independent]
Nevzorov, Aleksandr (Leningrad) [independent]
Ryzhkov, Vladimir (Altai Krai) [independent]
Doroshenko, Galina (Krasnodar) krai administration deputy head
Dubrovin, Sergei (Irkutsk) regional official
Filippov, Aleksandr (Novgorod) raion administration head
Gadzhiev, Magomed (Daghestan) regionally based federal official
Golikov, Georgii (Belgorod) Federation Council member
Kamshilov, Petr (Saratov) local legislator
Kharitonov, Aleksandr (Omsk) head of regional Interior Ministry academy
Kolesnikov, Viktor (Kaluga) Federation Council member
Korshunov, Lev (Altai Krai) regional tax official
Lazutkin, Viktor (Penza) regional legislator
Losskii, Yurii (Chita) mayor of Krasnokamensk
Mosyakin, Ivan (Orel) oblast deputy governor
Panchenko, Irina (Chukotka) deputy okrug governor
Panov, Valerii (Chelyabinsk) regional legislator
Plokhotnyuk, Boris (Orenburg) former oblast first deputy governor
Samoshin, Andrei (Tula) raion head Seliverstova, Olga (Kaluga) regional official
Semenchenko, Anatolii (Stavropol) mayor of Nevinnomyssk
Smolenskii, Vladimir (Moscow Oblast) regional official
Spiridonov, Pavel Spiridonov (Stavropol) regional legislator
Spiridonov, Yurii (Komi) former Komi Republic president
Stepanova, Zoya (Rostov) oblast deputy governor
Zavarzin, Viktor (Kamchatka) regional military official
Zavgaev, Akhmar (Chechnya) Federation Council member
Afendulov, Sergei (Lipetsk) medical doctor
Benin, Andrei (St. Petersburg) executive director of a noncommercial partnership for the timber industry in the Northwest Federal District
Dubovik, Vladimir (Tambov) Komsomolets director
Goryunov, Vladimir (Volgograd) soccer-club president
Hadyurbegov, Asanbuba (Daghestan) chairman of Morskaya zvezda (Kaliningrad)
Ishchenko, Aleksandr (Stavropol) LUKoil-Sever-Kavkaznefteprodukt director
Kazakov, Boris (Krasnodar) hospital administrator
Khinshtein, Aleksandr (Nizhnii Novgorod) investigative journalist
Krupchak, Vladimir (Arkhangelsk) ATsBK chairman
Nastashevskii, Svyatoslav (Novosibirsk) editor of website of Novosibirsk State Television and Radio Company
Roizman, Yevgenii (Sverdlovsk) City Without Narcotics foundation director
Stalmakhov, Vladimir (Nizhnii Novgorod) Kosmos vice president
Sysoev, Aleksandr (Voronezh) Rosagrotreid head
Tkachev, Aleksei (Krasnodar) Agrokompleks director and brother of Krasnodar Krai Governor Aleksandr Tkachev
Tretyak, Vladislav (Saratov) sports figure
Vasilev, Ivan (Tambov) Foundation for Regional Development head
Vinogradov, Boris (Amur) Russian Television and Radio Broadcasting Network external-relations director
Vorobchukov, Sergei (Omsk) Karbyshevsk director

SOURCES: Central Election Commission (
regional election commission websites
State Duma (; "Pobediteli v odnomandatnykh okrugakh," "Vedomosti" 9 December; "225 odnomandatnykh okrugov Rossii: vse ot Kobzona do Krasheninnikova, no bez Shandybina, Ilyukhina i Ligacheva," Regnum news agency, 9 December. Compiled by Heather McGee and Julie A. Corwin

IN: President Vladimir Putin on 12 January named Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov the first chairman of a new Council for the Struggle Against Corruption, Russian media reported. Two commissions will function under the framework of the council -- one for the prevention of corruption will be headed by Deputy Prime Minister Boris Aleshin and the other, on official ethics, will be headed by deputy presidential-administration head Dmitrii Kozak. "Kommersant-Daily" noted on 13 January that Kasyanov's position expires on 1 July, speculating that this might mean that Kasyanov will not be dismissed if Putin, as widely expected, wins a second term.

IN: President Putin on 12 January dismissed Yevgenii Lisov from his post as deputy head of the presidential administration and head of the main control department (GKU) of the presidential administration, reported. Putin named Valerii Nazarov to head that department. Nazarov most recently served as chairman of the St. Petersburg City Property Committee, a post that Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref previously held. Nazarov was born in Tambov and was educated at the Leningrad Electro-Technological Institute, from which he received his degree in 1985. State Duma Speaker and former Interior Minister Boris Gryzlov attended the same institution, graduating in 1968.

IN: Rafgat Altynbaev was elected chairman of the regional Tatarstan National-Cultural Autonomy in Penza Oblast on 11 January, reported on 12 January. Altynbaev, who is deputy chairman of the Russian Party of Life, previously served as a representative for Tatarstan in the Federation Council (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 17 April 2003).

IN: State Duma Deputy Gennadii Raikov, who headed the People's Deputy group in the previous Duma, announced on 12 January that he and 19 other deputies from the People's Party who were elected from single-mandate districts will join Unified Russia's faction in the current Duma, "Gazeta" reported on 13 January.

DOWN: A raion-level court in Moscow has ordered Foundation for Effective Politics President Gleb Pavlovskii to pay Mezhprombank head Sergei Pugachev 30 million rubles ($1 million) in libel damages, reported on 12 January. Pugachev objected to a September article by Pavlovskii that argued Pugachev, together with deputy presidential administration heads Viktor Ivanov and Igor Sechin, was plotting to "restructure all levels of political power -- including the presidential" (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 4 September 2003).

OUT: Members of the National Strategy Council on 12 January elected a new leader, RosBalt reported on 13 January. The resignation of Stanislav Belkovskii was accepted, and Valerii Khomyakov, director of the Agency for Applied and Regional Politics, was elected as temporary acting director until a new charter for the group can be adopted in the fall. Belkovskii was one of the main authors of a council report predicting an oligarchic coup (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 27 May 2003).

16 January: Vyborg Municipal Court to begin hearing a case challenging the legality of the September election of Federation Council representative Grigorii Naginskii by the Leningrad Oblast legislature

16 January: State Duma will reach a final decision on allocating committee chairmanships

17 January: Russian Regions to convene party congress

23 January: Some 94,000 polling stations for presidential election to be selected

24 January: The Union of Rightist Forces to hold a party congress

26 January: A jury will begin hearing the case against the accused murderers of State Duma Deputy Sergei Yushenkov

27 January: 60th anniversary of the siege of Leningrad

28 January: 6 p.m. Moscow time is the deadline for candidates to submit registration documents for the presidential race to the Central Election Commission

Early February: Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliev will visit Russia, according to Interfax on 8 January

7 February: List of registered presidential candidates to be finalized

20 February: Presidential-election ballot papers to be printed

12 February-12 March: Period during which free airtime will be provided to presidential candidates

23 February: Defenders of the Fatherland federal holiday

23 February: 60th anniversary of the 1943 deportation of the Chechen people by Stalin's NKVD

24 February: Next hearing in the St. Petersburg trial of accused murderers of State Duma Deputy Galina Starovoitova

27 February: Early voting in presidential election to begin for citizens in remote areas of the Russian Federation

8 March: International Women's Day observed

9-14 March: Publication of results of opinion polls about the presidential election banned

11 March: EU-Russia ministerial troika to be held in Dublin

14 March: Election for president of the Russian Federation

14 March: Gubernatorial elections in Voronezh, Murmansk, Chita and Arkhangelsk oblasts, Altai and Krasnodar krais, and Koryak Autonomous Okrug

14 March: Republican-level presidential election in Udmurtia

14 March: Repeat State Duma elections in single-mandate districts in Ulyanovsk and Sverdlovsk oblasts and St. Petersburg, where no candidates succeeded in garnering sufficient votes on 7 December

25 March: Date by which prosecutors must either complete their criminal investigation of former Yukos head Khodorkovskii to remain in jail or ask a Moscow court to extend his period of pretrial detention

26 March: Date by which official presidential-election results will be released

30 March: Date by which prosecutors must either complete their criminal investigation of Menatep Chairman Platon Lebed to remain in jail or ask a Moscow court to extend his period of pretrial detention

31 March: Date by which prosecutors must either complete their criminal investigation of St. Petersburg legislator and accused murder conspirator Yurii Shutov or ask a St. Petersburg court to extend his period of pretrial detention

4 April: Second round of federal presidential election to be held, if no candidate receives 50 percent of the vote in the 14 March first round

June: Communist Party will hold congress to hear reports and elect new party officials

19 June: End of State Duma's spring session