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Sobyanin Tells Shuffled Staff to Work Earlier

Putin and Sobyanin inspecting the snow leopard’s habitat in the Tuva republic in an undated photo released Friday. Alexei Druzhinin

Mayor Sergei Sobyanin fired two city district heads, appointed a new prefect and proposed that City Hall officials start their work an hour earlier to ease Moscow traffic.

The new mayor visited the city's Central and Northern administrative districts on Saturday, following a weekend tradition established by his predecessor but upgrading it by not announcing in advance what he would inspect.

Sobyanin criticized local authorities for the litter he found on several streets and for kiosks crowding areas around Belorussky Station in the Tverskoi district and the Ulitsa 1905 Goda metro station in the Presnensky district.

He said the kiosks obscured a monument to participants of the 1905 revolution, the electrical wiring appeared to be “held together by snot,” and “sanitary standards are not observed,” Interfax reported. He did not elaborate.

He fired the heads of the Tverskoi and Presnensky districts after the inspection, without naming any immediate replacements, the report said.

Sobyanin appointed the former head of the city's land resources department, Viktor Damurchiyev, as prefect for the Northwestern Administrative District on Saturday and made the previous prefect, Yelena Vasina, first deputy to the prefect of the Central district, Sergei Baidakov, Interfax said.

On Friday, Sobyanin said he "proposed investigating the possibility" of requiring city officials to begin their workday at 8 a.m. rather than 9 a.m.

"Throughout the world, civil servants get to work earlier than everyone else," Sobyanin told a meeting of city officials convened to discuss streamlining city transport, according to a City Hall statement.

Sobyanin also ordered officials to prepare a plan by Tuesday to "normalize" the city's notoriously bad traffic. He told them to coordinate the plan with the Moscow region, which surrounds the capital.

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