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United Russia to Dismiss Shamed Isayev as Party Ideologist

State Duma deputy speaker Sergei Zheleznyak is line to replace Isayev, who is likely to be dismissed by United Russia. Maxim Stulov

The ruling United Russia party will appoint a new party ideologist to replace Andrei Isayev, who together with his aide was kicked off a St. Petersburg-Moscow flight in October for obstructing crew members and causing a 90 minute delay.

At next week's general council meeting the party leadership will nominate State Duma deputy speaker Sergei Zheleznyak for the role, an unidentified party official told Gazeta.ru Thursday.

Zheleznyak said Thursday that he has the experience needed to fill Isayev's boots and that he will take the job if it is offered to him, Interfax reported.

Isayev resigned as deputy secretary of the party's general council following the plane scandal, but kept his party-member status.

During the incident on Oct. 8, which some passengers described as a drunken brawl, Isayev's aide Alexander Poglazov yelled at the flight attendants to move his boss to business class, while Isayev brandished his deputy's ID.

Zheleznyak is known as the party's mouthpiece for delivering patriotic statements, even though his daughters study at expensive schools abroad, opposition leader Alexei Navalny wrote on his LiveJournal blog in December.

Zheleznyak co-authored a law allowing authorities to block websites deemed harmful for children, and another one obliging foreign-funded nongovernmental organizations to register as "foreign agents." Both laws come into effect in 2012.

In December, he submitted a bill proposing that movie theaters showing foreign films be charged value-added tax, and in June he promised to introduce legislation that would protect Russians' personal data by requiring international Internet companies to put their servers under Russian jurisdiction.

In May, Zheleznyak urged the Duma to reconsider an abolished bill that would make criticism of the World War II coalition member states' actions illegal, carrying a punishment of up to three years behind bars.

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