Medvedev changes presidential envoys

Head of the Presidential Department of Internal Policy, Oleg Govorun, has been appointed presidential envoy for the Central Federal District after the district’s former envoy Georgy Poltavchenko was moved to become St. Petersburg Governor.

Before Govorun became a civil servant he worked at Alfa Bank, and was the head of their department of communication with the state, where the current first deputy head of the presidential administration Vladislav Surkov also once worked.

Sources say that the move is a Kremlin’s attempt to replace Surkov’s team after the deputy head of government Vyacheslav Volodin’s positions strengthened, Moskovskiye Novosti reported.

Govorun will help with elections

Govorun was sent to Central Federal District to strengthen the Kremlin’s hand before the elections, political analyst Yevgeny Minchenko told

“There are problems with Moscow and Moscow region, because United Russia’s ratings are not very high, and their party list in Moscow, based on the results of the primaries, is particularly weak, there are almost no ‘locomotives,” he said, using the term “locomotives” as a metaphor for popular personalities put on election lists to draw votes.

Deputy head of Political Technologies Center, Boris Makarenko, told Moskovskiye Novosti that the reasons for Govorun’s appointment will be more apparent after the presidential election.

“It will be clear whether he was promoted or demoted with the new head of state. He will most likely keep his job, as they could not find a place for him in the administration,” he said.

Klebanov was too difficult

Envoy in Northwestern Federal District Ilya Klebanov, was also fired, and former Urals Federal District envoy Nikolai Vinnichenko was appointed in his place.

Vinnichenko was replaced by his deputy Yevgeny Kuyvashev.

Experts say that Ilya Klebanov’s dismissal, however, does not fit Medvedev’s logic of “horizontal rotation.”

He was appointed envoy of Northwestern Federal District in 2003, and since then has changed the governors in his 11 regions nine times.

“As opposed to Poltavchenko, he is a very conflicted person. His squabbles with regional elites while causing annoyance at the federal level,” said Political Conjuncture Center expert Oxana Goncharenko.

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