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Youth Agency Gets New Loyal Head

Sergei Belokonev

Less than two weeks after losing its controversial leader, the Federal Youth Agency is getting a new head as it moves under the authority of a new ministry, Education and Science Minister Dmitry Livanov said.

"The fate of the Federal Youth Agency has been determined. It will be an agency subordinate to the Ministry of Education, and Sergei Belokonev will head the organization," Livanov said, RIA-Novosti reported.

Belokonev, a United Russia deputy to the State Duma, was previously deputy to the organization's former head, Vasily Yakemenko.

"We plan shortly to review the activities and projects that the youth agency has made in recent years. We'll also discuss the agenda for the coming years," Livanov said. He also confirmed that Belokonev was a former leader in the pro-Kremlin Nashi youth group founded by Yakemenko.

The youth agency, now to be under the Education Ministry, was formerly under the Sports Ministry headed by Vitaly Mutko.

Yakemenko was removed from his post as head of the organization earlier this month after being dogged by scandals that critics said reflected poorly on the Sports Ministry against the backdrop of the Sochi Olympics campaign.

The Kremlin's official statement said Yakemenko, who had headed the youth agency since 2007, was removed at his own request. He has announced that he will work on forming a new political party.

After Yakemenko's departure, insiders said the agency will likely see its budget significantly cut.

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