The summer of 2010 should be considered an important period in the history of Russia’s regional politics. After direct election of regional governors ceased in 2005, there were a number of notable changes, but this year we have seen the exit of a number of notable long-term regional leaders. This summer’s changes, unlike the previous resignations and replacements of regional leaders, indicate a movement towards the formation of a new regional elite. The changing political climate in the regions can be seen as part of President Dmitry Medvedev’s modernization drive—it is now expanding beyond economics and technology into political procedures.
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