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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

6 Nazdratenko Deputies Step Down

VLADIVOSTOK, Far East — Six deputies of former Primorye Governor Yevgeny Nazdratenko have resigned, while the presidential envoy for the Far East ordered his officials to tighten control over Primorye's finances, bureaucracy and media.

The resignations were announced Tuesday at a press conference by acting Governor Valentin Dubinin. Dubinin was appointed after Nazdratenko resigned last week amid accusations that corruption and ineptitude in his administration had led to the region's crippling fuel and power crisis, which left thousands of homes without heat in sub-freezing temperatures.

Dubinin said the resignations came after a late-night meeting Monday between local officials and Konstantin Pulikovsky, presidential envoy to the Far East. He said five deputy governors will remain in office and more resignations of high-ranking officials are expected later this week. Dubinin also said the number of deputy governors will eventually be reduced to eight.

"Their functions will be redistributed and the workload of each one will be increased," he said.

Some redistribution of labor has already been ordered by Pulikovsky. Pulikovsky has issued a decree giving his deputies responsibility for the most vital spheres of the region's life, according to his first deputy, Gennady Apanasenko, who also spoke at Tuesday's press conference.

Dubinin said the decision was based on the former administration's evident inability to "fulfill its obligations."

Apanasenko has been appointed to oversee finances and heating issues and another deputy, Yury Averianov, will be responsible for filling the key positions left vacant by Nazdratenko's team. A third deputy, Yury Obryadin, and Primorye's main federal inspector, Pavel Lysov, will oversee the law enforcement agencies, "ensuring the effectiveness of their activity," according to the decree.

Apanasenko said investigators are auditing local law enforcement agencies and some officials will soon be replaced, primarily in the prosecutor's office and police.

The resignations came after a meeting with presidential envoy Pulikovsky.

Pulikovsky also assigned one of his department heads, Mikhail Arkhipov, to keep close watch over the press, especially during the upcoming gubernatorial election campaign. Pulikovsky met with local media heads Tuesday and said Nazdratenko's team had created a "system of inaccurate coverage by local media" loyal to the governor, Interfax reported. He said the regional press and information committee spent money lavishly on boosting Nazdratenko's image, and that several investigations would be opened.

An official from Nazdratenko's administration said tension was running high among the remaining staff.

"Everyone is waiting to be fired," said Vasily Milyakin, an aide to Alexander Kuzich, one of the deputies who resigned Tuesday. Milyakin's boss was hospitalized with heart problems after Nazdratenko resigned. "He was responsible for finances, and something is always wrong in finances," Milyakin said. "So it is very easy to put the blame on him … although he committed no crime."

The deputy governors who have retained their posts are Alfred Gartman, responsible for social issues; Vladimir Stegny, who handles foreign ties; Igor Belchuk, in charge of power and construction; Vladimir Sidorov, who oversees the fishing industry; and Gennady Tokulenko, who heads the region's property committee.

Nazdratenko arrived in Moscow late Monday. He was quoted by Interfax as saying he hoped to meet Wednesday with President Vladimir Putin, who had prompted him to resign.