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Putin Appoints Ruling Party Stalwart As Daghestan's Acting Leader

Vladimir Vasilyev (file photo)
Vladimir Vasilyev (file photo)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has appointed the chief of the ruling United Russia party's parliamentary group, Vladimir Vasilyev, as acting leader of the volatile North Caucasus region of Daghestan.

In the same decree, signed on October 3, Putin accepted the resignation of veteran Daghestan politician Ramazan Abdulatipov from his post as the region's leader.

Abdulatipov, 71, announced his decision to resign on September 27, citing his age.

Vasilyev, 68, is a police lieutenant general and a former deputy interior minister who has been a United Russia Duma deputy since 2003.

In late September, the governors of the Russian regions of Nenets, Krasnoyarsk, Nizhny Novgorod, and Samara were replaced by younger politicians.

Russian media reports have attributed the regional political shake-up to preparations for next year's presidential election.

Putin is widely expected to seek and secure a fourth term, although he has not yet officially announced he will run in the March 2018 poll.

During past election campaigns, the Kremlin has relied on regional governors to secure predetermined levels of support for Putin in elections that were heavily managed by Moscow.