Vladimir Ilyukhin, the governor of the Kamchatka peninsula, has offered prominent opposition politician Alexey Navalny the opportunity to become the mayor of one of the peninsula’s remote villages. Leading a northern rural community in the peninsula, which is accessible only by air or sea transportation to its southern cities, would allow Navalny to “radically improve his knowledge of Kamchatka” and “receive invaluable leadership experience,” Ilyukhin said.
The newspaper Kommersant, which first reported on Ilyukhin’s proposal, noted that the governor was responding to an incident in which Navalny had criticized another Kamchatka official. That official had claimed that a long-defunct heating plant was, in fact, operational, and Navalny seized on his error in a September 26 video as an example of government dysfunction. Ilyukhin told Kommersant that Navalny had made several false statements in the video, indicating that the anti-corruption activist would benefit from additional local government experience. The governor said that by accepting his offer, Navalny would gain the chance to “prove in practice that he’s capable of leading a small administration at the least — and without any corruption!”