Four regional governors resigned today, as the Russia is facing the consequences of economic sanctions.
The head of the Tomsk, Saratov, Kirov and Marie El regions announced that they are stepping down immediately. The governor of Ryazan, for his part, announced that he would not run for a new term.
Elections in all five constituencies will be held in September.
Some of the resigned governors represented areas where the ruling United Russia party had relatively low turnout in last year’s parliamentary elections. Anti-popular rulers often step down, resigning en masse in the spring.
Ilya Grashenkov, head of the think tank Center for Regional Policy Development in Moscowsaid the Kremlin is ousting weak governors because of the deteriorating economic climate following Western sanctions. “The economy needs to be restructured, especially in those areas where the effects of Western sanctions have been significant. “These governors need to be replaced by younger ones,” he said.
The Russian economy is expected to shrink by 8.8% this year, according to the finance ministry.