Andrey Turchak strikes upbeat tone despite apparent demotion to head republic of Altai — Novaya Gazeta Europe
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Andrey Turchak strikes upbeat tone despite apparent demotion to head republic of Altai

Andrey Turchak. Photo: EPA-EFE/MIKHAEL KLIMENTYEV / SPUTNIK / KREMLIN POOL

Andrey Turchak. Photo: EPA-EFE/MIKHAEL KLIMENTYEV / SPUTNIK / KREMLIN POOL

Andrey Turchak, the Kremlin high-flyer whose surprise appointment to head the Altai republic in southern Siberia raised some eyebrows when it was announced on Tuesday, thanked Vladimir Putin for the trust he had shown in him and said he was looking forward to new challenges on Wednesday.

Turchak’s reassignment, widely seen as a demotion, will see him leave his posts as first deputy chairman of the Federation Council and secretary of the General Council of the ruling United Russia party. The move is part of a series of reappointments Putin has undertaken since his inauguration for a fifth presidential term last month.

The republic of Altai’s previous head, Oleg Khorokhordin, announced his resignation on Tuesday, shortly before Putin announced Turchak’s appointment to the post during a live broadcast.

The reason for an ardent Putin loyalist being appointed to lead an obscure Siberian republic remains unclear. While the republic, which borders Kazakhstan and Mongolia, is one of the poorest regions in Russia, its potential as a tourist destination has long been touted due to its natural beauty.

In 2013, opposition politician Alexey Navalny revealed that Turchak owned a company in Nice, through which he owned various properties he had failed to declare. Turchak subsequently updated his tax declaration.

In 2022, independent media outlet Proekt reported that Turchak owned a villa in Cannes, registered in the name of a friend of his wife, as well as a holiday home in a gated community on the Baltic coast of Russia’s Leningrad region.

Turchak, whose father is a longtime Putin associate, served as the governor of northwestern Russia’s Pskov region from 2009 to 2017, after which he was appointed to be United Russia’s secretary.

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