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In First, Russia Appoints Ukraine War Veteran to Political Office

Ruslan Alexandrov.

A veteran of Russia’s war on Ukraine has been appointed as a district head in his home region on Monday, marking the first known example of a participant in the war being named to public office in Russia. 

“Today, deputies of the Berezovsky District Duma unanimously endorsed the candidacy of Ruslan Alexandrov for the post of the head of the Berezovsky district,” said an announcement on the district’s official website. 

“The inauguration of the new [district] head will take place shortly,” it added. 

Alexandrov, from the Khanty-Mansi autonomous district in western Siberia, enlisted as an army volunteer in 2022 and served in an intelligence unit on the front lines in Ukraine, local news website Tyumen Online reported.  

After he was wounded, Alexandrov returned to his native Berezovsky district and started working at a local enlistment center for military volunteers, according to the news outlet. 

Prior to jump-starting his military career, Alexandrov worked as an environmental specialist in the Berezovsky district administration and also held a job at a sports center in the region’s capital of Khanty-Mansiysk, according to Tyumen Online.  

In a speech earlier this year, President Vladimir Putin said participants of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine were the country’s “future elites,” hinting at an upward social mobility for war veterans.

“The real elites of the country who can take over Russia must be formed from these people [who fought in Ukraine],” Putin said. “This means they need to receive support, they need to receive help.”

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