Russian President Vladimir Putin has named Mikhail Degtyarev, a State Duma deputy from the Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR), the acting governor of the Far Eastern Khabarovsk Territory.
The same decree dismissed the territory’s sitting governor, Sergey Furgal, “due to loss of confidence.”
Putin held a video conference with Degtyarev prior to signing the order and offered him the post of the region’s acting head. “I am ready, thank you for the trust you’ve placed in me. I am ready to fly to the Khabarovsk Territory immediately,” Degtyarev said in response. He also promised to update the president on the state of affairs in the region in a month.
Degtyarev will now serve as the region’s acting governor until the next gubernatorial elections in 2021.
On July 9, the Khabarovsk Territory’s then-governor, Sergey Furgal, was arrested on suspicion of organizing multiple contract killings between 2004 and 2005. Furgal has denied the charges. Mass protests have been ongoing in Khabarovsk since July 11, when tens of thousands of people took to the streets in support of Furgal.
Mikhail Degtyarev has been an LDPR member since 2005. He was elected to the Russian State Duma in 2011, where, among other things, he served as chairman of the committee on physical education, sport, tourism, and youth affairs. He competed in Moscow’s mayoral elections in 2013 and 2018.