Support The Moscow Times!

Ulyanovsk Hires Minister After Online Search

A regional government showcased its devotion to modernization last week by completing the search for a new minister online, sifting through 2,563 applications from 305 localities nationwide and even abroad.

The winner, Yelena Bashalova, 35, will trade her current job as the head of a district IT department in the Khanty-Mansiisk autonomous district, in West Siberia, to become IT minister of the Ulyanovsk region, located along the Volga River in central Russia, the Ulyanovsk government reported on its web site Friday.

The vacancy was published in September on, marking the first time in Russia that an official of that rank was recruited through a commercial job web site.

The 266 applicants who made it to the second round of the selection were asked to write an “analytical note on the development of the IT cluster in Ulyanovsk region,” with submissions posted on a LiveJournal blog for a public discussion that attracted some 3,000 commenters, the report said.

Thirty-seven applicants who made it to the third and final round were interviewed via Skype on their management skills and credentials, the local government said.

It remained unclear Monday whether more local officials were to be hired the same way or whether other regional governments planned to follow Ulyanovsk's lead.

… we have a small favor to ask.

As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just 2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.


Read more