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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 6 December Vladimir Putin announced that he will run in the presidential election to be held on 18 March 2018.
Much seems to indicate that the Ulyukaev case is an element of the rivalry of opposing groups of interest inside the Russian ruling elite.