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Daghestani Leader To Resign Amid Regional Shake-Up

Ramazan Abdulatipov attends a meeting of the Federation Council in Moscow in May.
Ramazan Abdulatipov attends a meeting of the Federation Council in Moscow in May.

The head of the local administration of Russia's North Caucasus region of Daghestan has announced his decision to resign.

Ramazan Abdulatipov told Govorit Moskva radio on September 27 that he planned to ask President Vladimir Putin to relieve him of his duties as head of the volatile, mainly Muslim region by the end of the business day.

Abdulatipov, 71, said his decision was motivated by his advanced age as well as, as he put it, by "the fact that the republic had been pulled out from a very deep crisis" during his tenure.

Daghestan and other mainly Muslim republics in the North Caucasus are the site of frequent fighting between government forces and militants whose insurgency stems from two post-Soviet separatist wars in Chechnya.

Abdulatipov, a veteran Russian politician who started his career during the Soviet era, was appointed head of the Daghestani administration in January 2013.

Since September 25, Putin has dismissed the veteran governors of two regions, Samara and Nizhny Novgorod, replacing them with younger officials.

Media reports, citing sources close to the Kremlin, said that several other regional governors will be replaced in the coming days.

The reports said that the planned shake-up was connected to preparations for next year's presidential election. Putin is widely expected to seek and secure a fourth term even though he has not officially announced he will run in the March 2018 poll.

During past election campaigns, the Kremlin relied on regional governors to secure as much support as possible for Putin.

Based on reporting by Govorit Moskva and Interfax