Matviyenko, Valentina Ivanovna

(1949– )
   Politician. The only woman to lead one of Russia’s federal subjects, Valentina Matviyenko, a former ambassador to Malta and Greece, was elected the governor of the federal city of St. Petersburg in 2003. She is a member of the pro-Kremlin United Russia party. She is also closely linked to Vladimir Putin, who created controversy by formally backing her as president. Despite the endorsement, she failed to win the first election outright, capturing only a plurality of votes despite strong support in the media. However, in the second round, she defeated her opponent, Anna Markova, and replaced the former governor, Vladimir Yakolev, who had stepped down over charges of mismanagement of funds. In office, she has worked to attract foreign investment to the region and to increase the former capital’s share of federal power vis-à-vis Moscow. Under the new electoral laws imposed in 2004–2005, Putin nominated her to retain her seat in 2006. On 19 May 2007, the FSB reported a plot to assassinate the governor, as well as the detention of several members of an unidentified religious group. In 2008, Forbes magazine named her number 31 among the world’s most powerful women.

Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation. . 2010.

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  • Russia — /rush euh/, n. 1. Also called Russian Empire. Russian, Rossiya. a former empire in E Europe and N and W Asia: overthrown by the Russian Revolution 1917. Cap.: St. Petersburg (1703 1917). 2. See Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. 3. See Russian… …   Universalium

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