Russian Natural Resources Ministry fires outspoken Mitvol

Publish date: September 10, 2008

ST. PETERSBURG- Russia’s acting Natural Resources chief Semyon Levi signed off on Tuesday on the firing of the Ministry’s deputy and vociferous environmentalist Oleg Mitvol, reported.

One of Russia’s most public ecological government workers, Mitvol was cut loose on the basis of staff reforms. Mitvol himself, however, says he has yet to receive notice of his sacking because he was not at work when it was delivered. The Natural Resources Ministry refused to comment on this.

Mitvol made a name for himself with a series of thunderous ecological inspections that stepped on the toes of foreign geolocal surveyors, highly placed officials, and a show business star.

Mitvol was fired despite conciliatory words from Natural Resources Minister Yury Tryuntyev. He told reporters in Irkutsk that he hoped the conflict between Mitvol and his boss, Vladimir Kirillov would be resolved.

Mitvol’s history of animosity with Kirillov dates to Kirillov’s appointment as the head of the ministry’s bureaucratic structure at the beginning of 2008. Mitvol threatened to resign over the appointment, but backed down after dissuaded by Truntyev.

Rumours began to circulate in the Russian media that Mitvol had been fired.

The Ministry bureaucracy reported that “Mitvol has received his notification relieving him of his duties and, according to the law, he has two months to find a vacant position within the bureaucracy or quit,” reported.

Last June, Mitvol was stripped of most of his authority. He also fell under the axe of a decree reducing the number of deputies the chief of the bureaucracy should have from four to three.