Presidential envoy to become general secretary of ruling United Russia party

Vladimir Yakushev, Dmitry Medvedev, Andrey Turchak. Photo:  United Russia

Vladimir Yakushev, Dmitry Medvedev, Andrey Turchak. Photo: United Russia

The ruling United Russia party has appointed the presidential envoy to the Ural Federal District, Vladimir Yakushev, as its new general secretary, it announced on Saturday.

The appointment, which was made by the chairman of United Russia and former president, Dmitry Medvedev, will see Yakushev formally take up the role at the next United Russia party congress.

United Russia was formed in 2001, since when it has played an increasingly dominant role in Russian politics. While the party was created as a vehicle of support for Vladimir Putin, he has never been a member himself and has always stood as an independent candidate in presidential elections.

United Russia currently enjoys a virtual monopoly in power, providing 73 of Russia’s 89 regional governors and boasting huge majorities in both chambers of the Russian legislature.

Yakushev has served as Putin’s presidential envoy to the Ural Federal District since 2020, before which he was the governor of the Tyumen region for 13 years. He appears on both British and US sanctions lists relating to Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.

Earlier this month, Vladimir Putin appointed the previous secretary of the United Russia General Council, Andrey Turchak, as head of the republic of Altai, in southern Siberia, in a move widely seen as a demotion. Turchak, whose father is a longtime Putin associate, served as the governor of northwestern Russia’s Pskov region from 2009 to 2017.

The United Russia General Council is made up of 152 members and operates as the party’s chief platform between congresses, issuing statements on important social or political questions. The secretary heads the Presidium of the General Council, which consists of 23 members and leads the party’s political activity in areas such as election campaigns.

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