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Governor of Russia’s Altai Republic Resigns

Oleg Khorokhordin. Maxim Blinov / TASS

Updated with Turchak appointment.

Oleg Khorokhordin announced Tuesday that he was stepping down as governor of the Siberian republic of Altai, making him the third regional head to resign within a week as the country prepares for regional elections in September.

“I’m resigning from the post of head of the Altai Republic in connection with the transition to a new workplace,” Khorokhordin wrote on Telegram without disclosing his future plans.

Elected to a five-year term in 2019, Khorokhordin was reported to be next in line after the back-to-back resignations of the governors of the Samara region and Khanty-Mansi autonomous district last week.

The republic of Altai and Khanty-Mansi autonomous district are among dozens of Russian regions where gubernatorial elections are scheduled for this coming September. The Samara region, which held an election last year, will hold snap elections following the resignation of its governor.

Like the other two ex-governors, Khorokhordin’s tenure was plagued by local scandals. Last week, army soldiers from Altai who are fighting in Ukraine released a video calling for Khorokhordin’s ouster over a long list of complaints, from poor medical care in the region to problems with public transportation.

In 2021, a group of regional public service workers issued a similar call after accusing him of delivering a speech while under the influence of alcohol.

The Kommersant business daily has also reported that Khorokhordin was the only lame-duck governor who had not met President Vladimir Putin to receive his “blessing” to run for re-election in September.

Later on Tuesday, the Kremlin leader appointed federal senator and secretary general of the ruling United Russia party, Andrei Turchak, as acting governor of the Altai republic.

“It’s a promising region, especially today, bearing in mind the rapid development and our plans to grow tourism,” Putin told Turchak in a meeting via video link. “Of course, in the months ahead of the upcoming elections, you need to actively work in the territory, to work with the people.”

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