As Andrey Zelenin, the head of the A Just Russia - For Truth faction in the Chelyabinsk City Duma, told Novye Izvestia, the issue of awarding the title was put on the agenda literally an hour before the meeting, initially they were not going to consider this topic.
“The issue was really considered, the honorary title was awarded by a majority of votes”, - Zelenin said, - “only four deputies from our faction voted against. We will insist on changing the conditions for awarding the title so that it cannot be given to those convicted".
As Novye Izvestiya previously said, the scandal erupted at the end of summer, when it became known that deputy Vitaly Rylskikh was among the contenders for the title of honorary resident. This is a major entrepreneur, the owner of one of the tallest buildings in the city, retail and commercial real estate. Rylskikh has already been elected to the deputy several times, and each election indicates data on his criminal record: in 1969 he was convicted under articles 206 and 218 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR (hooliganism and possession of weapons). The conviction was canceled in 1978, and the following year Rylskikh was again tried for hooliganism. He himself says about his convictions: "this is all because of his youth." In social networks, a photo of the Rylskys was actively discussed, which shows a tattoo on his arm - the letters SLON, which can be deciphered as "death by a cop from a knife".
It is interesting that the city authorities already made an attempt to make Vitaly Rylskikh an honorary resident of Chelyabinsk back in 2018, when they changed the rules by which this title is awarded. Then the wording was added to the conditions that the title cannot be obtained by a citizen convicted of especially serious crimes. Rylsky did not fit this restriction, his articles are “light”. But then, due to protests, the issue of awarding the title was not even brought up for public discussion. In 2022, they returned to the topic again. The title is traditionally awarded on the eve of City Day. But this time a scandal erupted again, the State Duma deputy Valery Gartung protested and the issue was removed from the agenda. But a month later they returned again. According to Novye Izvestia, the issue of including the issue of conferring the title of honorary citizen of Chelyabinsk on the agenda was introduced at the initiative of the city administration.