According to a decree signed by Putin in late April, the municipal mayors will be rated based on 30 criteria. Among the criteria are salary level, death rates, number of small businesses, housing standards, road standards and schools, newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta reports. The decree for real brings the municipal level of power into the Russian power vertical, journalist Andrey Seryenko writes fro the newspaper. Russian authorities have long been hesitant to abolish direct mayors elections. Now, with Putins new rating system, the city leaders might effectively be brought under control without changing the Russian election laws. From now on, the disobedient and troublesome mayors can easily be removed with the argumentation that they have failed to meet expectations and subsequently been rated too low in the government survey. -It is not important how a mayor is elected, the important thing is how he is dismissed, and this problem has been cleverly resolved by the former president. Now, there will be no need for court processes against troublesome governors, journalist Seryenko writes. Vladimir Putin has already significantly strengthened the premier post compared with his predecessors. At the same time, the role of the municipalities might grow more important. At least the federal pressure on the city leaders looks set to increase.