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Perm Resignations, Modernization Memorandum

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin places flowers outside the burnt-out Lame Horse nightclub in Perm on December 8

Perm Regional Government Resigns

The government of the Perm region has resigned in the aftermath of the Lame Horse nightclub fire, but Oleg Chirkunov, the region's governor, remains at his post. Perm-based political scientist Oleg Podbintsev tells RFE/RL that the government's dismissal might actually serve to boost the governor's popularity. "I think that the majority of the population will approve of his [Chirkunov's] actions, which appear to strongly contrast with the municipal authorities, against whom the mood is decidedly negative," he says. "In this situation, the head of the town has been quite passive."

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Young Politicians To Present "Cross-Party" Vision of Russia's Future

Young parliamentary deputies participating in a project organized by the Youth Discussion Platform plan to sign on December 10 a joint memorandum on the modernization of Russia's political system. Dmitri Gudakov, head of the youth branch of the Solidarity opposition movement, tells RFE/RL, "We consider that there should be a multi-party system...rotation of parties [of power] is essential." However, Ilya Yashin, a co-chairman of Solidarity, says the memorandum project is a Kremlin initiative through and through. "There is no doubt that the presidential administration is behind the whole project," he says. "It's a way to reinforce the divide between the so-called political organizations of the system and those outside the system."

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