Medvedev’s staff sent to regions to hear straight from locals

The Kremlin started reaching out directly to people in Russia’s regions on Thursday as a senior administration official traveled to Ryazan to hear citizens’ complaints about burning social problems.

In late March, Medvedev announced his project of creating mobile presidential reception offices that will move across Russia to handle citizens’ suggestions and “complaints about the inaction of authorities.”

For the first such session, presidential administration Deputy Chief of Staff Alexander Belov visited several medical institutions in the Ryazan Region, 200 kilometers southeast of Moscow. He said that by yearend most Russian regions will have received a visit by one of the mobile centers, which link up with the presidential administration.

“Dmitry Anatoliyevich [Medvedev] set the task of visiting almost every region by the end of the year. We have planned at least 65 visits,” Beglov said, adding that there may be unscheduled visits in response to petitions from the public, which could bring the total to more than 100.

Medvedev himself will go along for one of the visits in the near future, Beglov said, but the location will be kept secret to prevent the local authorities from “building Potemkin villages” to paint a rosy picture for the president.

A crucial feature of the mobile reception centers, which operate independently of any local infrastructure, is that they will make their regional appearances without notice so the usual preparations for a visit from Moscow cannot take place, the official said.

“We will come to venues where people especially need help,” Beglov said, adding that the centers will be run by presidential administration staff.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin originated the practice of moving to the exact places to solve people’s problems, when in 2009 he visited the troubled single industry town of Pikalyovo, some 200 kilometers from St. Petersburg, oppressed by the long wage arrears and ordered the wages to be paid.

Such approach to solving the social and economic problems was dubbed by the journalists “manual mode” of running the country.

RYAZAN, May 12 (RIA Novosti)


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