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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Former Kremlin Aide Karlin Sworn In as Altai's Governor

Itar-TassKarlin at the swearing-in ceremony
Former Kremlin aide Alexander Karlin was sworn in Thursday as governor of the Altai region, replacing Mikhail Yevdokimov, the comedian turned politician who died in a car crash earlier this month.

Karlin, 54, who headed the presidential administration's civil service department until his nomination as governor, took the oath of office soon after the Altai legislature unanimously approved him, Interfax reported.

Karlin said that the region's economy would be a priority on his political agenda.

"The decline in production goes together with serious social problems. ... Other regions have similar problems, but in our region, the crisis has acquired a serious and constant character," Karlin said, Interfax reported.

Karlin is the third outsider to be selected as a regional leader by President Vladimir Putin in recent weeks. Valery Shantsev, Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov's deputy for nine years, became the governor of Nizhny Novgorod on Aug. 8, and on Aug. 13 Putin nominated Alexander Tishanin, the little-known head of Eastern Siberian Railway, as the next governor of Irkutsk.

Yevdokimov was killed on Aug. 7 when the car he was riding in smashed into a tree as its driver tried to avoid another vehicle. Local authorities said the driver, who also died, was at fault and ruled out foul play. The Kremlin's envoy to the Siberian Federal District, Anatoly Kvashnin, was put in charge of an investigation.

In a nationwide poll carried out by the independent Levada Center last weekend, 52 percent of a total of 1,600 respondents said they believed Yevdomkimov's death was the result of a deliberate attempt on his life, while only 34 percent thought it was an accident.