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Former Head Of Russia's Chuvashia Sues Putin Over Dismissal

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Mikhail Ignatyev sparked a scandal by saying at an event devoted to Press Day that "it is necessary to wipe out those journalists" who criticize the authorities.

In an unprecedented move, the former head of the Russian region of Chuvashia, Mikhail Ignatyev, has filed a lawsuit against President Vladimir Putin challenging a presidential decree that removed him from office in January.

According to official information placed on the website of the Russian Supreme Court, hearings into the case will start on June 30.

Meanwhile, media reports on May 27 said that Ignatyev had been undergoing treatment for pneumonia in a hospital in the city of St. Petersburg since early May.

According to the reports, Ignatyev's condition is very serious and he had been connected to a cardiopulmonary bypass unit to assist the functioning of his heart and lungs.

Putin fired Ignatyev in late January after the ruling United Russia party expelled Ignatyev.

The 58-year-old Ignatyev sparked a wave of public criticism in January by publicly saying at an event devoted to Press Day that "it is necessary to wipe out those journalists" who criticize the authorities.

That same month, Ignatyev touched off further criticism after a video was broadcast on Russian TV channels showing him making a firefighter jump to get the keys to a new fire engine at a public event in Chuvashia's capital, Cheboksary.

It is the first known case of a former official suing Putin after losing his post.

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