The victim of ambition: why did the Governor of the Tula region


The resignation of the Governor of the Tula region Vladimir Gruzdev, President Vladimir Putin met Tuesday afternoon in the official residence in Novo-Ogaryovo, four days before the birthday of the Governor. The official reason for the job change was voiced by the President himself. “Vladimir Sergeevich asks to use it on other work in connection with family circumstances — you have a child born, congratulations, Vladimir Sergeevich Muscovite, [wants to be] closer to Moscow”, — quotes the head of the state Kremlin website.

But could be informal and the reasons for his resignation.

The conflict at the Federal level

From Gruzdeva had an uneasy relationship with the political block of the Kremlin, supervised by the first Deputy head of administration Vyacheslav Volodin, says the source close to presidential administration, and confirms acquaintance of Gruzdev. One of the points of misunderstanding between administration officials and Gruzdev were conflicts on the basis of appointments in the region, explains the interlocutor in the state Duma.

Interlocutor surrounded by Gruzdeva told that the issue of his resignation should have been addressed to the Congress of “United Russia”, scheduled for 5-6 February: there should be discussed the rotation of the High Council of party, which includes Gruzdev.

Gruzdeva powers as Governor was due to expire in August 2016 (he was appointed by President Medvedev in 2011). At the end of November 2015 on the upcoming Gruzdeva resignation from the post of Governor informed the newspaper “Vedomosti”. The President’s press Secretary Dmitry Peskov then reacted sharply to the publication, noting that it looked like “zakazuha”.

At the same position Gruzdeva have started to decline in ratings close to the Kremlin funds. In the ranking of the effectiveness of Pro-Kremlin governors Fcsd he lost a year ten positions and at the end of 2015 at 51-54 th place. And in late November the head of Tula received an “f” in the ranking of survival, which make up the Fund “Petersburg policy” and holding “Minchenko consulting” (in the previous similar rating Gruzdeva was “five”). Among the weaknesses of the Governor Minchenko Vinogradov and even noted “conflicts with specific Federal groups.”

“When such a man resign and do not give clear explanations, this suggests that there was a conflict with someone at the Federal level,” suggests political scientist Abbas Gallyamov, noting that within the region Gruzdeva had no problems.

On the one hand, Gruzdeva had good economic performance, on the other — from the Federal centre had a claim to the business style of management “in a fairly conservative region,” Vinogradov explains now.

Career ambitions

One of the reasons of weakening of positions in the rankings Gruzdeva was called “career ambitions”. He was tired from working in the region and believes that a fully realized himself there, says a friend of the Governor. The past few months, with the Kremlin discussed the places of possible employment Gruzdeva, including the head of one of the business associations, says another source close to the Governor. In the end, satisfying side choices, it’s probably Gruzdev will be back in business, he says.

Gruzdev was one of the founders of the network of shops “Seventh continent”, but in 2007 sold its share to the partner Alexander Zanadvorov about $1 billion, explaining that the priority for him was political career. In December 2007 Gruzdev was elected to the state Duma, where he became Chairman of the Committee on legislation. But from the business Gruzdev hadn’t gone far — he had left the clothing retailer “Fashionable continent” (networks Incity, Deseo), 50,13% of which is owned by his mother Nellie Gruzdeva. “Fashionable continent” began in the mid-1990s, today the network Incity, according to the company’s website, has more than 450 outlets in more than 180 cities of Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Kyrgyzstan. Forbes in 2015, assessed the condition of Gruzdeva $1.2 billion (68-th place in Russia).