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2017 has seen a wave of dismissals of the heads of Russia’s regions – the largest in the past five years. This is linked primarily to the preparations for the presidential election.
On 15 December, the district court in Moscow found Alexey Ulyukaev, the former Russian minister for economic development, guilty of accepting a bribe of US$2 million.
Vladimir Putin visited Cairo on 11 December. The main effect of the visit was the signing of four contracts linked to the construction of the El Dabaa nuclear power plant.
On 6 December Vladimir Putin announced that he will run in the presidential election to be held on 18 March 2018.
On 28 November, President Vladimir Putin announced the implementation of a programme for assistance to families.
Much seems to indicate that the Ulyukaev case is an element of the rivalry of opposing groups of interest inside the Russian ruling elite.