Koshin replaces Igor Fyodorov, who has been heading the northern Russian region since 2009. A Presidential decree on the issue was signed on 22 February, a press release from the regional administration reads.
Igor Koshin comes from the post as Senator for the Nenets AO. He has also been heading the regional branch of the United Russia party since year 2002.
“All his career has been uninterruptedly connected with the Nenets Autonomous Okrug and in the latest years he has been representing the region in the Federation Council, Deputy Speaker of the State Duma Sergey Neverov says in a press note. “Koshin has experiences and authority not only from the region, but also from the federal level”, he adds.
Koshin started his governor period with the immediate dismissal of five deputy governors.
Commenting on the government reshuffle, Head of the regional Nenets Accounts Chamber Oleg Belak says that former governor Fyodorov did not manage to find a common language with the regional elite. “The governor immediately got the opposition from the population: in the small town of Naryan-Mar he only moved around with a car with blinking lights, something which was unprecedented for his predecessors,” Belak says to newspaper Kommersant. “He was surrounded by complete isolation”, he adds.
The Nenets Autonomous Okrug is one of Russia’s richest regions in terms of per capita incomes. The region is a major oil producer and the level of regional salaries are among the highest in Russia.
The company is closing down its biggest mine in the Kola Peninsula following plummeting raw material prices. Consequences will be dramatic for Zapolyarny, the industrial town located along the border to Norway.
August 9th, the Barents Region celebrated the UN International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. The day was commemorated in several parts of the region, including Karasjok in Northern Norway and Teriberka in Northwestern Russia.
“This sends a clear message to Russia that things aren’t so good when it comes to basic journalistic values in Norway either” The firing of BarentsObserver’s Editor Thomas Nilsen has led to massive reactions from journalists and other protectors of press freedom.