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Putin Replaces Reginos Minister Following Public Rebuke

Russian President Vladimir Putin fired Regional Development Minister Oleg Govorun following a public rebuke last month.

Putin named Igor Slyunyayev, who stepped down as governor of the Kostroma region in April, to replace him, the presidential administration said today in an e-mailed statement. The ministry hasn’t addressed problems faced by families with multiple children or transport issues plaguing residents in Siberia and the Far East, Putin said in September.

Govorun’s dismissal is the first since the Cabinet was formed less than five months ago by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who agreed last year not to challenge Putin’s plans to return to the presidency. Putin said he’d worked with many of the officials for years in the government or presidential administration, and that individuals named to lead ministries bear a higher degree of responsibility.

“If something ordered isn’t fulfilled, then there must be responsibility for that, and the responsibility must be carried personally,” Putin said at a government meeting Sept. 19, according to a Kremlin transcript. “It’s nothing personal. I want you to know it’s nothing personal.”

In addition to Govorun, Putin also ordered Medvedev to reprimand Labor Minister Maxim Topilin and Education and Science Minister Dmitry Livanov. At the same meeting, Putin also criticized the government for foot-dragging on a pension-reform overhaul being prepared by Topilin’s ministry.

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