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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Nazdratenko Named Chief Of Fisheries

Former Primorye Governor Yevgeny Nazdratenko, a key figure in the protracted energy crisis in the Far East that left thousands freezing in their homes this winter, was named head of the State Fisheries Committee on Saturday.

A government spokeswoman said Nazdratenko had been appointed to the fisheries post, but gave no further details.

Nazdratenko quit his job earlier this month after a conversation with President Vladimir Putin. He had been held responsible for chronic regional power shortages by the Kremlin and many of his constituents.

Energy Minister Alexander Gavrin also stepped down after blunt criticism from Putin, and 11 of the region's deputy governors tendered their resignations.

Nazdratenko had long been an irritant for the Kremlin as governor. Former President Boris Yeltsin considered having him removed on more than one occasion.

Shortages of fuel, inadequate distribution and industrial mishaps have left tens of thousands of people in high-rise apartment buildings in Siberia, Arctic regions and the Far East without heating and with power for only a few hours a day.

Television footage of families shivering in layer upon layer of winter clothing inside their ice-encrusted homes have become a common sight on local channels.