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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kremlin Unveils List of 100 Potential Leaders

The Kremlin on Tuesday published the first 100 names in a list of the country's top 1,000 managers compiled to help President Dmitry Medvedev fill senior government posts.

Medvedev announced plans last year to draw up a list of the so-called "Golden 1,000" of top management personnel as part of a recruitment drive aimed at bringing new blood into the political elite.

Medvedev has promised to publish the entire list, taking a sharply different tack from his mentor and predecessor, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who frequently tapped relatively obscure friends and colleagues -- including Medvedev -- for senior government posts.

The initiative is a response to the difficulties the state is facing in identifying and recruiting competent personnel for public service, senior officials say.

Medvedev said Tuesday that he had approved the first 100 candidates and planned to meet with them in the near future.

"There will be a process of rotating cadres," Medvedev said, speaking a day after he fired four governors and nominated Agriculture Minister Alexei Gordeyev as the new governor of the Voronezh region.

Medvedev nominated one of the candidates on the new list, Federation Council Senator Andrei Turchak, as governor of the Pskov region on Monday. His candidacy still has to be formally approved by the regional parliament.

The oldest person on the list, Garry Minkh, 50, was appointed the Kremlin's envoy to the State Duma last week. He previously headed the parliament's legal department.

The businesspeople included in the top 100 include former RusAl CEO Alexander Bulygin; Yandex CEO Arkady Volozh; VTB-24 CEO and former Finance Minister Mikhail Zadornov; Sistema CEO Leonid Melamed; and Lev Khasis, CEO of X5 Retail Group, which runs Pyatyorochka and Perekryostok supermarkets.

Khasis told The Moscow Times in an e-mailed comment that he was aware of being on the list and that the presidential administration had requested his consent in a letter.

Asked if he was ready to leave his job for a state position, Khasis didn't reply directly but said he had a "special" attitude toward Medvedev as the head of the state.

The list reflects the state's need for "more effective managers," said Dmitry Badovsky, deputy director of Moscow State University's Institute of Social Systems.

During unstable economic conditions, some of the business representatives may be tempted by the offer of a secure state job, Badovsky said. "Given the current economic crisis, some managers may see good prospects in a move to the civil service."

Sergei Naryshkin, head of the presidential administration, said a total of 1,211 candidates had been nominated for the Golden 1,000 and that the final list would be compiled by March 1.

The candidates were nominated by 170 "famous and authoritative people" whose identifies will not be disclosed, Naryshkin said, Interfax reported.

The candidate must display "success, management abilities, strategic thinking, professionalism and public acclaim" and cannot have a criminal record, Naryshkin said. A further 21,000 people have been nominated for lists to fill lower regional posts, he said, Interfax reported.

The first 100 candidates -- whose names were published on the Kremlin web site www.kremlin.ru/articles/kadry.shtml -- were divided into four categories: federal officials; regional officials; businesspeople; and representatives of the sciences, academia and public organizations.

Andrei Volkov, dean of the Moscow School of Management Skolkovo, said he was flattered to be asked to appear on the education list.

"I made no effort, and I am pleased that several experts considered me a qualified specialist," he said.

Volkov said he would consider switching jobs if asked by the Kremlin. "I have a very interesting job, but there can be different situations in life and I wouldn't say no to anything."

The list of federal officials includes four State Duma deputies, three of whom are members of United Russia, the party headed by Putin. The other Duma deputy, Oleg Denisenko, is a Communist. There are no representatives of other parties,

The list of regional officials includes two deputy governors, both of whom are United Russia members, and three mayors.

"Medvedev is showing that he wants to find support in the social group that might be described as the liberal-minded bureaucracy," said Alexei Makarkin, an analyst with the Center for Political Technologies.

The list gives some businessmen, regional managers and middle managers the chance to "raise their status," Makarkin said.

The list allows qualified specialists to "get to know each other and each other's capabilities," said Sergei Guriyev, rector of the New Economic School, who is on the education list. "When a state project, such as a ministry, is created, this means they can collect a critical mass of team members."

Communist youth coordinator and former Duma Deputy Darya Mitina called the candidates who are under 35 "pathetic" in her LiveJournal blog Tuesday. The two youngest candidates on the list are 26 years old.

Being included on the list means "new opportunities," said Nikolai Nikiforov, director general of the Center of Information Technology of Tatarstan, a state agency. He said an offer of another government position would be "a great honor."

"I got a call from the presidential administration asking whether I minded being on the list," said Vladimir Nazarov, an academic at the Institute for the Economy in Transition. "Would you refuse if you were me?"

But Nazarov conceded he might not be ready for a top government post. "If I was told to head the Magadan region, I could hardly do it because I've never been a governor."