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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Governors Evaluate Their Own Work

All governors were to deliver a report outlining the effectiveness of their work to President Vladimir Putin by Saturday in the first evaluation of their governance since the abolishment of direct gubernatorial elections in 2005.

The reports, however, might be used to dismiss disloyal regional leaders in the lead-up to State Duma elections in December and the presidential vote in March, analysts said.

"Now there will not be any need to wait for an emergency to replace a governor," said Alexei Mukhin, a political analyst with the Center for Political Information, referring to the resignation of Sakhalin Governor Ivan Malakhov after Putin sharply criticized his handling of an Aug. 2 earthquake that killed two people.

In late June, Putin ordered governors to deliver annual reports on their regions by the start of September. Each report should cover 43 criteria, including general indicators such as the regional gross domestic product, average salary, unemployment level, and people's satisfaction with education and medical assistance. But there are also more out-of-the-ordinary criteria, like the number of public library books per 1,000 people and the number of people participating in state-organized cultural and leisure activities.

This year's reports cover 2006, according to a copy of the presidential order posted on the Kremlin web site.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Sunday that he had no information about which governors had presented their reports and could not provide further comment.

Governors will be fired if they are deemed insufficiently loyal to the Kremlin, not if their performance is lacking, said Alexei Makarkin, a political analyst at the Center for Political Technologies.

"The real criteria for the evaluation of a governor's activities would be political -- that is, his loyalty and the ability to conduct the policy [dictated] by the federal authorities," he said.

Both the governor of Sakhalin and the governor of Samara, Konstantin Titov, were replaced in August, and analysts said others might be on the way, including Mustafa Batdiyev of Karachayevo-Cherkessia, Oleg Chirkunov of Perm, Nikolai Kiselyov of Arkhangelsk, Alexei Lebed of Khakasia, Alexander Chernogorov of Stavropol and Murat Zyazikov of Ingushetia.

The Gazeta daily, citing unidentified Kremlin sources, reported late last week that a reshuffle among governors would start with Batdiyev, Zyazikov and Chernogorov in the North Caucasus. The report said the three leaders' positions would depend on a federal inspection that began in late July, the results of which would be reported to Putin by Sept. 20.

"Chernogorov has presented his report on time, and it is now in Moscow," Chernogorov spokesman Anatoly Lesnykh said by telephone from Stavropol on Friday.

Putin's reaction to the report was not yet known, he said.

Zyazikov was in Moscow on Friday, but no information was available on his report, his spokesman, Isa Merzhoyev, said by telephone from Nazran.

Repeated calls to Batdiyev's spokeswoman in her Cherkessk office went unanswered Friday.