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Kamchatka Governor Fires Top Officials for Corruption

Kamchatka Governor Vladimir Ilyukhin meeting with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in July.

Kamchatka Governor Vladimir Ilyukhin dismissed his Сabinet on Thursday over large-scale corruption allegations against senior regional officials.

He said he will order law enforcement agencies to examine each of the officials' cases before they can be considered for reappointment.

"It is unacceptable for an official of any level to be named in a criminal report," Ilyukhin said in a video address posted on the regional government's website, noting that several incidents discrediting regional authorities had taken place of late.

Kamchatka's Cabinet consists of 22 top officials, including 10 deputy governors.

On Thursday, Ilyukhin also fired the region's top sports official, Viktor Kravchenko, who was arrested on Aug. 13 on charges of defrauding the regional budget of almost 7 million rubles ($218,000), RIA-Novosti reported.

On Monday, Kravchenko was also charged with taking a bribe of 2 million rubles, the Investigative Committee said in a statement.

Kravchenko faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted of abuse of authority and up to 15 years if convicted of bribery.

In November, Vladimir Silyukov, former regional head of transportation and road construction, was arrested on charges of abuse of authority and of receiving a 1 million ruble bribe, the Investigative Committee said in a statement. A court released him earlier this year on bail of 1.5 million rubles, Interfax reported.

Silyukov faces up to four years in prison if convicted of abuse of authority and 12 years if convicted of bribery.

Members of the Cabinet will continue in their posts until a new Cabinet is appointed within a month, after law enforcement agencies examine the activities of each official.

"Those who have justified the trust and who have shown high efficiency will be reappointed," Silyukov said, adding that the makeup of the cabinet could be "significantly" changed.

Former President Dmitry Medvedev appointed Ilyukhin, 51, governor in February 2011, and Ilyukhin took office in March 2011. His term is set to expire in March 2016.

Before his appointment as governor, Ilyukhin served as the chief federal inspector for the region, according to the region's official website. Federal inspectors oversee the implementation of presidential orders in the regions.

Ilyukhin's accomplishments as governor include constructing large amounts of earthquake-proof housing, relocating people out of decrepit apartment buildings, and solving transportation problems, according to Iskander Khakimov, founder and publisher of the poluostrov-kamchatka.ru news website, RIA-Novosti reported.

The governor "decided to renew his team in order to prevent the region's social and economic development from slowing," Khakimov said.

In July, President Vladimir Putin appointed Ilyukhin, along with four other governors, to a Kremlin commission for monitoring the regions' progress in achieving social and economic development targets, the Kremlin said on its website.

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