#9 - JRL 2010-154 - JRL Home

People power may have helped unseat unpopular Russian governor Georgy Boos

By Evgeniya Chaykovskaya
Moscow News
August 16, 2010
Protests against Kaliningrad Region governor Georgy Boos may have helped to force him out of office after

United Russia's local party didn't nominate him to continue after Sep. 28.

Instead the shortlist presented to President Dmitry Medvedev comprises Duma deputy Yuri Savenko, the head of

Gusev municipal region Nikolai Tsukanov and ex-Kaliningrad mayor Alexander Yaroshuk.

The unpopular Boos, who has faced repeated calls to resign, was not included, with the party saying he was due

to move to a leading Federal position.

"This decision was made with reference to Georgy Boos' opinion," said a statement on the party's official


Long-awaited departure

Boos had attracted jeers from local opposition groups, who have been demanding his resignation throughout the

year at mass rallies of up to 10,000 people.

On a political level he was accused of failing to work with the opposition and local elites, but the Kremlin

left him in office even while it transformed the leadership of the local party.

And that low level of support could have influenced the decision, analyst Vladimir Pribylovsky told The Moscow


"In reality governors are appointed by Putin and Medvedev only gives a signature, but Putin also listens to

advice and one of his advisors ­ maybe Medvedev ­ suggested removing Boos, but not just because of mass

protests," said the head of the Panorama think tank.

"Boos was an outsider and did not fit in the local administrative circles, who kept scheming against him."

Change of heart

Earlier the ruling party claimed that it would support his candidacy for the governor job when his current term

expired in September, but now they are saying that his candidacy is better suited for a job in Federal


However, sources in the president's administration told RIA Novosti that the president agreed with the decision

and it fits his position: one of the most important criteria of the governor's effectiveness is the level of

support from the population. It is the same criteria United Russia party uses when proposing candidates.

"President Medvedev has pointed out more than once that the level of social support is one of the main criteria

of the evaluation of the governor's work. Unfortunately, the level of support of our friend and colleague Boos

was quite significant, but still not enough to continue his work," United Russia's chief council's presidium

secretary Vyacheslav Volodin commented the decision.

He said that Boos might have survived in a different region, but "Kaliningrad region is a special case," he is

quoted by United Russia's press-service.

A new job

"Boos will be offered a job, worthy of his professional level, because he showed himself as a good manager,"

the source told RIA Novosti.

This question was also discussed with Boos and he showed readiness to look at new job offers, the source added.

"We'll have to see what position they offer him. Putin does not discard the people that do not rebel and serve

and share ­ he does not throw them to the dump, they always get something," Pribylovsky said. However, he

thinks that the new job is likely to be a step down, like a "minor minister, or a head of a committee."

Clan war

For Pribylovsky, Boos' departure is another symptom of the on-going clan warfare in Russian politics ­ and

could be part of the campaign to undermine Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov.

"Boos used to belong to [Moscow Mayor Yuri] Luzhkov's administrative and financial clique, but when he became a

governor he tried to keep his affiliation inconspicuous. But he is an electric bulb oligarch, whose base is in

Moscow and he cannot leave," Pribylovsky told The Moscow News.



Bookmark and Share - Back to the Top -        


Bookmark and Share

- Back to the Top -        

  Follow Johnson's Russia List on Twitter