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Putin sacks Russian children’s rights ombudsman

September 09, 2016, 9:37 UTC+3

Anna Kuznetsova, the head of the Association of organizations for family protection, has been appointed the new children’s rights commissioner, the Kremlin has announced

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Ex-children’s rights ombudsman Pavel Astakhov

Ex-children’s rights ombudsman Pavel Astakhov

© Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS

MOSCOW, September 9. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree to accept resignation of children’s rights ombudsman Pavel Astakhov, the Kremlin press service said on Friday. 

Putin has appointed Anna Kuznetsova, the head of the Association of organizations for family protection, as the new children’s rights commissioner, Dmitry Peskov added.

Astakhov leaves his post "on his own will," according to the Kremlin statement.

Unofficial sources in the Kremlin said on July 2 that Astakhov would resign. It was later reported that he had already tendered resignation. Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov later confirmed that Astakhov would leave the post after returning from vacation.

An online campaign was launched to collect signatures for the ombudsman’s dismissal in late June after the boat disaster at a summer camp in northwest Russia that killed 14 children. The reason was the question Astakhov asked a girl who survived the tragedy, "How was your swim?" Astakhov later said his words were taken out of context.

Astakhov, 50, a celebrity lawyer and television personality, was appointed to the post of the children’s rights ombudsman in late December 2009. He became the first children’s rights ombudsman in Russia. 

What is known about the new children's rights commisioner

Kuznetsova, who also led an executive committee of the All-Russia People’s Front in the Russian city of Penza, is a 34-year-old mother of six children.

In 2010, she established a foundation to provide support for families, mothers and children. The Association of organizations for family protection was set up in 2015.

Peskov also said that "Putin has already held a meeting with Kuznetsova in the Kremlin."

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