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Putin thanks former Kemerovo regional governor for his service

The region's governor stepped down due to the fatal Kemerovo shopping mall blaze

MOSCOW, April 1. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has called Aman Tuleyev who tendered his resignation as Kemerovo Regional Governor on Sunday and thanked him for his many years of service at this office, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

"Putin called Tuleyev over the phone and thanked him for many years of his service in the office of the region’s head," the spokesman said.

The Kremlin press office said on Sunday that Russian President Vladimir Putin had accepted the early resignation of Kemerovo Region Governor Aman Tuleyev.
The governor’s resignation comes in the wake of the deadly shopping mall inferno in Kemerovo on March 25.

"In view of the statement by Kemerovo Region Governor Aman Tuleyev on the early termination of his powers… I decree to accept the resignation of Kemerovo Region Governor Tuleyev at his own request and appoint Tsivilyov, Sergei Yevgenyevich, as the region’s acting head until a newly elected governor assumes office," the presidential decree says.

The decree comes into force upon its signing.

Tuleyev, 73, had served as the region’s governor since 1997. Rumors of his possible resignation have regularly circulated in recent years due to the official's poor health. The deadly fire in Kemerovo sparked the latest wave of rumors.

Tuleyev said the decision to resign was "the only correct decision" under the present circumstances.

"It is impossible to remain at the governor’s position with such a heavy burden on [one’s] shoulders. This would be morally wrong," he stressed.

A fire broke out on March 25 at the four-story Zimnyaya Vishnya (or Winter Cherry) shopping mall in Kemerovo. A total of 64 people, including 41 children, lost their lives in the devastating blaze and 79 people were injured, among them 27 children.