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Vladimir Putin fires Novosibirsk governor due to 'loss of trust'

By The Siberian Times reporter
18 March 2014

Vasily Yurchenko, 53, ousted after dossier of complaints sent to the president.

Lost of trust. Here Vasily Yurchenko, right, is pictured together with Vladimir Putin and Mikhail Pogosyan, the General Director of the JSC Sukhoi Design Bureau during a visit to VP Chkalov Novosibirsk Aircraft Plant. Picture: ngs.ru

The governor had run the Siberian region since 2010 as a member of the ruling United Russia Party. His demise came after he was attacked last week at a closed-doors meeting of the All-Russia People's Front, founded by Putin in order to provide United Russia with 'new ideas, new suggestions and new faces'.

A report in newspaper Vedomosti suggested questions had been raised against Yurchenko, some relating to the business activities of his friends and relatives, but the Novosibirsk prosecutor's office said no investigations are underway against him.

'The conference voted to appeal to the president directly and inform him of the possibility of grave violations by Novosibirsk Governor Vasily Yurchenko,' reported the newspaper. 

There was no specific detail regarding these allegations. The stated reason for his dismissal was the same as given in 2010 about the long time mayor of Moscow, Yuri Luzhkov, namely the loss of presidential trust.

His sacking was also linked to controversy over the current mayor's election in Novosibirsk - Siberia's largest city - after Yurchenko engineered a snap poll which was seen in some quarters as being unhelpful to the ruling party. The move was viewed as risking the election of a Communist to the influential post.

Yurchenko had declined to comment on the front's meeting and reports from it. In January, Yurchenko had appointed then Novosibirsk city mayor Vladimir Gorodetsky as his deputy governor. As a result of Putin's move today, Gorodetsky takes over as acting governor. 

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