Russia's Prime Minister Fires Forestry Head

World | August 22, 2010, Sunday // 19:01
Bulgaria: Russia's Prime Minister Fires Forestry Head Russia's PM Vladimir Putin has fired the head of the Forestry Agency, Alexei Savinov, due to his inability to efficiently cope with the wildfires. Photo by EPA/BGNES

The Russian PM Vladimir Putin has fired the head of the Forestry Agency because of his inability to cope adequately with the devastating wildfires, the BBC has reported.

More than 50 people died in the fires which destroyed hundreds of thousands of forest and agriculture land and caused a heavy smog cover on Moscow.

Putin has decided to replace Alexei Savinov with his deputy, Viktor Maslyakov.

The now former forestry chief was criticized for his inability to efficiently use the government funds allocated for fire prevention.

The BBC reported that some Russian critics claimed that the PM was also to be blamed because he has pushed through a law decentralizing the protection of forests.

On Friday, the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev lifted the state of emergency in the areas around Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod and Mordovia.

The heavy rains have also helped the situation, making temperatures fall from 32 degrees Celsius to 9 degrees Celsius in two days, the BBC reported.

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Tags: smog, Moscow, Russia, Dmitry Medvedev, fires, wildfires, forest, Vladimir Putin, Forestry Agency
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