President Vladimir Putin replaced presidential envoy in the Northwestern Federal District Nikolai Vinnichenko, an associate of Dmitry Medvedev, with Vladimir Bulavin. Vinnichenko and Medvedev went to university together. Vladimir Bulavin is a representative of secret services.
The future of the dismissed Nikolai Vinnichenko became immediately clear, the Novy Izvestia underlines. According to presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov, he may be given the post of deputy prosecutor general.
The newspaper notes that Nikolai Vinnichenko is regarded as Dmitry Medvedev's associate. They were fellow students at the legal department of the Leningrad University. Vinnichenko was appointed presidential envoy in the Ural Federal District in December 2008, during Medvedev's presidency. In September 2011, he took the post of presidential envoy in the Northwestern Federal District. Thus, the premier lost yet another person from his team. In February, vice-president of the Russian Olympic Committee and head of the board of directors of the North Caucasus Resorts Akhmed Bilalov, who was also viewed as a close associate of Medvedev, was relieved of his duties.
Vladimir Putin had severely criticized Bilalov after an inspection of sport facilities in Sochi.
Deputy director of the Center for Political Technologies Alexei Makarkin, cited by Novye Izvestia, said Putin "vigorously began to overhaul human resources after his comeback to power," as he finds it more comfortable to work with his own people. "The president consistently gives posts to his prot·g·s, or appoints the prot·g·s of his close associates," the political analyst explained, "Vladimir Bulavin is a person of Security Council's chairman Nikolai Patrushev. And Patrushev is from Vladimir Putin's team."
Since the envoys have direct access to the president, Putin believes it is necessary to have his associates occupy these posts.
After Putin won the presidential election, "the shares" of Dmitry Medvedev team fell dramatically, said head of the department of sociology and political science of the Financial University under the Russian government Alexander Shatilov.
"Medvedev loses one government post after another," the expert stated, "it happens despite his demonstration of loyalty to Putin."
At the same time, he said Dmitry Medvedev was unable to form a full-fledged team during this presidential term. Medvedev has just a few allies, Shatilov believes, "and now he's lost another one. Vinnnichenko is being transferred from the post of presidential envoy who wields considerable influence, to a sort of "functionaries' settler."
Vinnichenko was Medvedev's person and his influence has decreased considerably since Medvedev's leaving the office of president; his resignation was as matter of time, the newspaper cited a Petersburg legislator as saying.