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Medvedev Dismisses Chief Road Builder

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has dismissed Anatoly Tchabunin, chief of the Federal Highway Agency, amid a series of scandals over the poor quality of Russia's roads.

A decree signed Nov. 15 officially dismissed Tchabunin in connection with his "transfer to another job," according to a statement published on the government's website Monday.

The statement did not specify Tchabunin's new position.

In a separate decree, Medvedev appointed Roman Starovoit, who had been in charge of construction for the 2014 Sochi Olympics, to take the helm of the Rosavtodor highway agency.

The decision came as a surprise, as there were no rumors surrounding Tchabunin's imminent resignation or his transfer to a different post, but his dismissal could be due to criticism of Rosavtodor, which he has headed since 2009, Kommersant reported Monday.

In September, the Prosecutor General's Office found that 50 percent of federal and regional roads did not meet quality standards. Poor surfaces, a lack of lighting and pedestrian crossings were among some of the violations.

Starovoit, a native of St. Petersburg, took up his new position Monday, according to Kommersant.

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