Russian President Vladimir Putin has replaced the leader of the volatile North Caucasus region of Daghestan.
The Kremlin said in a statement on October 5 that Putin had signed a decree accepting Vladimir Vasilyev's "request to relieve him from his duties." It gave no reason why Vasilyev submitted his resignation. The statement added that Sergei Melikov, a member of the parliament's upper chamber, the Federation Council, was appointed as Daghestan's acting leader.
In October 2017, Putin made a surprise move by appointing Vasilyev, an outsider who at the time was 68 and led the ruling United Russia party's regional parliamentary group. Vasilyev's appointment was considered a possible move to enforce attempts to eradicate deep-rooted corruption in Daghestan as Vasilyev was a police lieutenant-general and a former deputy interior minister.
Colonel General Sergei Melikov, 55, served as presidential envoy in the North Caucasus Federal Territory between May 2014 and July 2016.
Before joining the Federation Council last year, Melikov had been the First Deputy Director of the Russian National Guard since 2016. Daghestan in recent years has been at the epicenter of organized criminal gang violence linked to business turf wars, political disputes, clan rivalries, and the spread of militant Islam.