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Putin fires Kirov Governor Belykh over loss of trust

Igor Vasilyev is appointed as acting head of the region

MOSCOW, July 28. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree to dismiss Kirov Governor Nikita Belykh for "losing the trust of the president of the Russian Federation", and in a follow-up decree appointed Igor Vasilyev as acting head of the region.

Both decrees come into effect on the day of signing. Vasilyev served as head of the Rosreestr Federal Service, a government surveying authority.

Nikita Belykh was arrested in a Moscow restaurant on June 24 while in the process of taking a bribe. The investigators say that Belykh, with the assistance of a mediator, had personally received a total of 400,000 euros in cash. Agents say that in exchange for the kickbacks, he promised to sponsor two local businesses - a ski factory and a forest management company.

The Investigative Committee formally charged Belykh with large-scale bribery under Section 6 of article 290 of the Russian Criminal Code. On June 25, Moscow’s Basmanny Court placed Belykh under arrest for two months. The Moscow City Court upheld the ruling early in July. Belykh categorically denies any wrongdoing.