Putin dismisses Novosibirsk Governor Vasily Yurchenko
Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree to remove Vasily Yurchenko, the governor of the Novosibirsk Region, from office «due to a loss of confidence». Vice-Governor Vladimir Gorodetsky, former mayor of Novosibirsk, has been appointed acting governor, reported the Kremlin Press Office on 18 March.
«Dismiss Vasily Yurchenko from his post as governor of the Novosibirsk Region in connection with a loss of confidence on the part of Vladimir Putin, president of the Russian Federation,» the press office quotes the decree as saying.
Compromising evidence entitled «The growth in prosperity of the family of Novosibirsk Region governor Vasily Yurchenko» was anonymously posted on blog service LiveJournal in January. The author made a number of statements about alleged conflicts of interest, corruption and undeclared accounts belonging to the governor, his two sons and wife Natalia Yurchenko. On 30 January, Yurchenko supported a proposal to send a request for the Investigative Committee and FSB to study the publication at a session of the Legislative Assembly. On 17 February, he declared the damaging information to be a lie.
On 19 February, the Novosibirsk Region government building was searched as part of the criminal investigation into the 2010 sale of the wooden building that housed the regional STI clinic on Chaplygina Street. Then, Yurchenko said that he, at that time still first vice-governor, opposed the deal involving «forged documents» and cannot be held responsible for the actions of all government officials.
At the end of December 2013, Yurchenko announced that Roman Putin, the first cousin once removed of Russian President Vladimir Putin and volunteer adviser to the governor, who worked on the failed project to assemble cars at the 15th Central Automobile Repair Factory, no longer holds his position. In response, Roman Putin said that the governor and his «corrupt entourage» only needed «publicity with a big name», which is why the advisor «did not receive» Yurchenko for more than a year and has no relation to the project.
Yurchenko was governor from 22 September 2010. Prior to that, from January 2004, he led the Department of Industry and Enterprise Development in the regional government, and in February 2005 became first deputy governor. He is affiliated with party United Russia.