Dmitry Medvedev dismissed the president of Ingushetia
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev named a new acting president of the Ingushetia region Thursday as news services reported that the old regional president had been dismissed from office, dpa reported.
Murat Zyazikov, 51, a former officer in the Soviet KGB secret police who was elected president of Ingushetia in 2002 with the Kremlin's backing, said Thursday he tendered his resignation in anticipation of a new job in Moscow.
"This is an absolutely voluntary decision related to a move to a new post," he was quoted by news agency Interfax as saying. "I will work in Moscow."
However, Russian news services were reporting Thursday that he had been dismissed.
Ingushetia has become increasingly unstable in recent years. Opposition has grown more vocal to Zyazikov, the former head of Russia's dominant pro-Kremlin party in the region. His critics accuse his administration of corruption and using heavy-handed security tactics against civilians.
Police ambushes, explosions and kidnappings have become a regular feature in the southern Caucasus republic, a principally Muslim region bordering Chechnya, which fought two wars with Moscow in the early 1990s.
Medvedev appointed Yunus Evkurov, 45, who also has an intelligence background and is a recipient of the country's highest award, the Hero of Russia medal, as Zyazikov's replacement.
Observers said the Kremlin may be afraid Zyazikov is a weak leader in the region at a time when spiraling violence threatens a repeat of the full-fledged insurgency that the Kremlin fought in neighboring Chechnya.