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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Low-Profile Senator to Head Housing Fund

A low-profile United Russia senator who graduated from Moscow's Marxism-Leninism University will manage billions of dollars as head of the state corporation created to improve people's housing conditions.

Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov appointed Konstantin Tsitsin, who is deputy chairman of the Federation Council's Budget Committee, as director of the corporation in a decree published Wednesday on the government's web site.

Named the Housing Reform Assistance Fund, the state corporation will spend at least 250 billion rubles ($10 billion) over the next four years to repair deteriorating apartment buildings or move people out to new homes. President Vladimir Putin ordered the body's creation in his state-of-the-nation address in April.

A Finance Ministry source said the fund could receive 500 billion to 1 trillion rubles this year, Interfax reported.

Before his appointment to the Federation Council, Tsitsin worked as an aide to Andrei Vorobyov, head of United Russia's executive committee, according to the council's web site. Tsitsin's biography on the web site otherwise describes him only as a student, stating that he graduated from what is now Bauman University as well as from the Marxism-Leninism University and the State Tax Academy.

Tsitsin, who represents Kalmykia in the Federation Council, is also running on United Russia's ticket for a State Duma seat in the December elections.

His career included a stint as Gazprombank's first vice president from 2004 to 2006, a period as deputy head of the Federal Financial Recovery and Bankruptcy Service and work at the Labor and Social Development Ministry and the Tax Ministry.

In the 1990s, Tsitsin tried his hand in private business, establishing a tourist firm and an auto dealership, Novaya Gazeta reported in March.

The Federation Council web site also says Tsitsin has a military award: a medal dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the Soviet armed forces that he received in 1988. It does not say how he earned the decoration.