Experts unanimously called the mass resignations of Russian governors, which began on May 10, a gubernator-fall. Five governors immediately announced their resignation - Tomsk, Kirov, Ryazan, Saratov regions and Mari El. According to political scientist Ilya Grashchenkov, the decision to resign them is due to the low chances of being re-elected for a new term, especially in September, when the economic situation in the country can change dramatically.
At the same time, Putin signed decrees on the appointment of interim heads of the Republic of Mari El, Kirov, Ryazan, Saratov and Tomsk regions. Yuri Zaitsev was appointed Acting Head of the Republic of Mari El, Alexander Sokolov - Governor of the Kirov Region, Pavel Malkov - of the Ryazan Region, Roman Busargin - of the Saratov Region, Vladimir Mazur - of the Tomsk Region. Prior to this, Putin held working meetings with each of the newly appointed interim regional leaders.
In addition, experts predict that by the end of this week personnel decisions should be made regarding 6 more governors: Kaliningrad region (Anton Alikhanov), Buryatia (Aleksey Tsydenov), Novgorod region (Andrey Nikitin), Karelia (Artur Parfenchikov), Udmurtia (Alexander Brechalov), Sverdlovsk region (Evgeny Kuyvashev). And extraordinary decisions can also be made regarding a number of heads of regions, for example, the Lipetsk region, the Orenburg region, Khakassia, etc.
Grashchenkov comments on these events in the following way:
“The gubernatorial fall began almost half a year late due to the foreign policy situation, but it is obvious that the Kremlin does not intend to abandon the rotation of power even under the conditions of a special military operation. True, it is still unclear whether the heads will be elected or appointed through legislative assemblies. In order to stabilize the system in a year of systemic challenges and a likely economic crisis due to sanctions from the West, the rejection of direct elections would be seen by opponents as a weakness. Therefore, the main scenario is still general elections, with the help of political technologies and tools.
The fact that Russia is in the NVO regime has not yet led to fundamental changes in domestic politics. Martial law has not been declared, and the elections have not been canceled yet. Yesterday, long-scheduled, but shelved, gubernatorial rotations began, which allows us to predict that the Kremlin is not going to cancel the elections either.
In fact, we are talking about gradually switching from “wartime” to “peacetime” mode. Although the SVO and sanctions imposed by the West will continue to be a dominant factor in domestic politics. By autumn, the country will begin to feel a drop in living standards, which will require additional efforts from the interim to win the elections. So what will the new governors look like? Does this mean that Russia is waiting for leaders of a new type, for example, from among the security forces, conditional governors-general? Or is it a new model of regional management at all?
No, everything will remain the same. The school of governors continues to train and graduate the same technocrats as it did five years ago. Rare direct presidential appointees will remain the exception, although former members of the bodyguards do not demonstrate any real superiority. The ratings are low, the quality of work is average, the conflicts and problems are the same as any other chapters. So the sources of forming a personnel reserve for managing subjects are the same: ministries (the level of deputy ministers), mayor's offices of cities, the State Duma and the Federation Council, State corporations, the AP, the IC, the State Enterprise, etc. The training program also did not change much, since some anti-crisis cases at the top have not yet been invented. So the same technocrats will be elected.
All appointees are close to the AP or even come from the administration itself. On the one hand, this is a strengthening of the vertical of power, and on the other hand, it is obvious that they rely on experienced political managers, and not just on young careerists. Hard times are coming and the heads will have to not only fulfill the KPIs assigned to them, but also somehow spin around in the territory themselves. Therefore, it is likely that in some regions there may be appointments of interim - people from among the local elites. 5 resignations yesterday - this is just the beginning. However, the management structure will remain the same”.
Analytical channel "Nezygar" publishes a few more short expert opinions:
- The resumed rotation process has its own managerial logic and will add tone to the entire governor's corps. The main criterion for rotation was the declining rating of trust in the authorities in these regions.
- Everyone has their own reasons, the common thing is that the rotation was delayed. The special operation has nothing to do with resignations and this is not a demarche.
- The replacement moratorium that has been in place since the beginning of the special operation seems to have been cancelled. The system has withstood the impact of sanctions and internal economic discord, effective managers are needed.
- Intrigues with the appointments of the interim (who will be the favorites to be elected in the fall) will be belonging to the "new wave" reserve.
- We are waiting for appointees from the "School of Governors" - the Higher School of Public Administration of the RANEPA.
- The Kremlin is not going to change anything in the system of regional administration and domestic policy in general. Neither a transition to a "military footing" nor a "management restructuring" is planned. Since the scale of the crisis is still unclear, then they will react to it after the fact. As well as the elections that the government intends to skip in the usual format. The announced “Donbass consensus” will supposedly rally the patriotic part of society (knocking out the ground from the ultra-patriots), and the fear of poverty will rally the entire paternalistically minded population around the authorities. Any serious opposition will be cleared through the moon filter, and besides, there are convenient tools like the Remote digital voting (DEG) and exit voting.
- Leave the version “they did not participate enough in the Special military operation” and “these are long-awaited purges”, to my regret, this is simply not the case. Because then you will be surprised when the removed governors suddenly leave for the federal level.