Possible Mikhalkov Replacement

Aleksey Nemov

Interfaks reports 35-year-old former Olympic gymnastic champion, Aleksey Nemov is the frontrunner to chair the Defense Ministry’s Public Council.  The agency cites Valentina Melnikova, head of the Committee of Soldiers’ Mothers of Russia and herself a member of Public Council’s presidium.

Nemov’s possible appointment first surfaced on July 23.  He’s reportedly a United Russia member.  Melnikova said the Defense Ministry proposed Nemov to the presidium, but the Council is also considering other candidates.  She said a final decision on a new chairman will come at the Council’s September meeting, according to Obshchaya gazeta.  She considers Nemov a sufficiently well-known and worthy candidate for the job.

Nemov would replace flamboyant and outspoken film director Nikita Mikhalkov who resigned abruptly in May when the Defense Ministry took back his migalka – the flashing light and siren enabling officials, the wealthy, and the well-connected to drive through and around Moscow’s monstrous traffic jams.

Mikhalkov claimed he quit to protest the way in which the last two Victory Day parades were conducted (participation by NATO troops, president and prime minister seated while observing, etc.), changes in military education and training, and his self-professed inability to influence the situation in the army.

Forum.msk concludes, if Nemov becomes the next head of the Defense Ministry’s Public Council, he’s appropriately named.  His surname comes from немой (mute, silent, or dumb).

For the Public Council’s current composition, see this Krasnaya zvezda from last December.  For its original, early 2007 makeup, see Nezavisimoye voyennoye obozreniye.

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