Vladimir Putin has fired long-time St. Petersburg Governor Georgy Poltavchenko and offered his job to a similarly mustachioed gentleman named Alexander Beglov, who currently serves as the presidential envoy to Russia’s Central Federal District. Poltavchenko, meanwhile, has been invited to chair the United Shipbuilding Corporation’s executive board. He has served as St. Petersburg's governor since August 2011.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Wednesday that Putin asked Beglov to serve as St. Petersburg’s acting governor until the next elections in September 2019. It remains unclear, however, if Beglov is expected to run for office in that race. (Beglov actually served as St. Petersburg’s acting governor for several months in 2003, after Vladimir Yakovlev left office, before Valentina Matviyenko’s took over.)
Commenting on his pivot to the shipbuilding industry, Poltavchenko told the news website Fontanka, “God willing, I'll be working for the good of the nation.”