Thursday, October 21, 2010

Putin's Former Chief of Staff Appointed Mayor of Moscow

Sergei Sobyanin, Prime Minister Putin’s former chief of staff, was named the new mayor of Moscow. 52-year-old Sobyanin was born and raised in Western Siberia, and rose through the political ranks to become governor of the Tyumen region before becoming Putin’s chief of staff in 2005. Russian media reports describe Sobyanin as very tough and energetic, but publicity-shy and unemotional. After the city legislature’s nearly unanimous vote of approval, Sobyanin expressed his loyalty to Putin, telling him that “even though I’m no longer a member of the Cabinet, I will remain a member of your team.” Before the vote, Sobyanin criticized the city's former administration for inefficiency and corruption and promised to cut red tape, create a better investment climate, improve road conditions, and promote education and health care.

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