Monday, May 6, 2024

Moscow Now Set to Selectively Enlarge Municipalities, Experts Predict

Paul Goble

            Staunton, May 3 – Specialists on urban and regional policy tell Stavropol’s Center for the Support of Social and Civic Initiatives that after Putin’s inauguration, Moscow will selectively support the enlargement of municipalities to help governors boost their control over major cities and to improve economic figures if not reality by combining poorer areas with wealthier ones.

            According to journalist Anton Chablin, the experts in what was an anonymous poll say that the first cities to be subject to this policy change will be in the Yamalo-Nenets AD and in Yaroslavl, Vladimir, Pskov and Novosibirsk oblasts. Others will be spared lest any change undermine rather than strengthen governors (

            Proposals to expand urban centers administratively has been controversial for the last decade, with Putin rejecting it in 2017 apparently because he did not come up with the idea himself ( But talk about such amalgamation continues, and some Moscow officials still back it (

            It is unclear whether the Stavropol survey marks a resolution of this debate or whether it is simply part of that debate and that the fate of settlements near large cities and possibly of republics as well remains open (, and

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