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Meeting with newly elected regional heads

September 28, 2023, The Kremlin, Moscow

The President had a videoconference with 26 newly elected heads of Russian regions.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Colleagues, good afternoon.

I would like to begin by congratulating you on winning the elections. You have all demonstrated worthy and confident results. In the regions with direct voting, you confidently won in the first round or received broad support in regional legislative assemblies.

The elections were held for the first time in the new Russian regions – in fact, in our historic regions of Donbass and Novorossiya, as I have already said many times, in accordance with Russian laws. The voting in regional parliaments, whose members were also elected for the first time under Russian laws, reaffirmed the incumbent leaders’ status.

This is certainly a momentous event, a crucial step in the new regions' integration into the single legal and administrative space of our vast country

The new regions’ situation is special, as are their immediate tasks, but I am fully confident that the regional authorities and, most importantly, the people, our citizens, feel the support they receive from the rest of Russia. This is extremely important, and so it will be.


The elections were open, fair and competitive.

The turnout was also high, which shows the growing civic maturity of our society: people have come to realise how important it is to vote, to be responsible for the future of their region, their country, and thereby the future of their families and their children.

Again, the results of the regional elections are very convincing. We often talk about this, and it is true: such a high level of trust primarily entails an even greater responsibility. I am sure you are fully aware of this and are prepared to focus on delivering the hopes of your voters, the regions’ residents, to see a positive change in their quality of life and standard of living.

The development of regional economies and their human, educational, and technological resources, as well as the creation of new jobs, are the key factors in ensuring the well-being of Russian families, increasing their incomes, and overcoming demographic and social challenges. Undoubtedly, this is the time for new opportunities and innovative approaches contrary to the plans of those who dreamt of choking us with sanctions.

Quite the opposite, the external pressure has ultimately become a powerful incentive for growing our own industries and tapping our potential in various fields. Without a doubt, we need to continue to work closely with the Government, federal and municipal bodies of authority to support companies and enterprises that are ready to fill vacated niches and to propose projects and solutions, including high-tech ones, that enjoy demand in the economy and are in line with our national goals and priorities.

The existing federal and regional tools must be extensively used to encourage investment and business activities and to create comfortable conditions for entrepreneurial initiatives.

Training personnel is a closely related task; we keep talking about this. It includes everything related to young people rising to their full potential, so they know they can succeed in their home regions.

Of course, I expect you to pay special attention to expanding transport, engineering, housing and utilities, and social infrastructure, in a word, the systemic issues that directly impact economic growth and the quality of people’s daily lives.

Regarding the social sphere, I would like to highlight one critically important issue: supporting our military personnel, including wounded soldiers, and their families. I believe that for all of us, primarily government officials at all levels, caring for our heroes and those that lost their loved ones is not just a professional duty, but a civil, humane, and moral obligation, a duty of gratitude and respect for the defenders of the Fatherland.


To reiterate, a high level of trust brings great responsibility, and the key criterion is the effectiveness of your work, the public's opinion of this work, and their assessment of what you do.

I expect you to always be open to direct and candid dialogue with the people, that your actions and decisions will be based on their interests and needs, and that you will direct your every effort toward achieving the goals of the comprehensive and tangible development of the regions, and, consequently, the country as a whole.

I want to wish you and your management teams success and productive work. Congratulations, once again.

Please, colleagues, who would like to speak? Mr Sobyanin, perhaps you could start us off? The Mayor of Moscow.

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin: Mr President, colleagues.

Mr President, thank you very much for supporting the gubernatorial corps and every one of us. I believe that our victory and the high results we have achieved are largely connected with the ratings of the head of state, the policy you are pursuing and the consolidation of society as a whole.

You have said, correctly of course, that such results and especially the fact that these results are based on the increased nationwide enthusiasm, have put us under an obligation to act responsibly and effectively.

We must make the fullest possible use of the traditional authority of the regional heads in the areas of socioeconomic policy, current issues, housing and utilities, transport and so on, which are the never-ending duties and the main responsibilities of all our colleagues.

Mr President, in addition to that, as you have rightly pointed out, we must also do our best to help the country during the special military operation, not only by providing social support to our soldiers and their families, but also by building up the economy and the defence sector by creating new industrial facilities to directly help our men who are fighting on the frontline, by sending them the necessary supplies, food and humanitarian aid. This is very important because this is creating a platform for consolidating our society and fostering a feeling of cohesion.

In my opinion, after these elections we should revise our current plans – most of us had quite ambitious plans – and adjust them to realty with due regard for the current challenges.

The Moscow authorities are not cancelling development plans but are intensifying them and making them more challenging and complicated. We are not only focused on our functions, which we are fulfilling, but also on the development of the main economic sectors, such as microelectronics, photonics, pharmaceutics, automobile manufacturing, and the construction of enterprises for the defence sector, as we have reported to you, namely for manufacturing aircraft and missiles, which involves complex technological solutions.

Mr President, thank you very much for the trust you have placed in us. I hope we will justify it.

Thank you very much.

Vladimir Putin: Thank you.

Colleagues, we have no special protocol today. Who would like to add something?

Head of the Donetsk People’s Republic Denis Pushilin: May I, Mr President? Pushilin, Donetsk People’s Republic.

Vladimir Putin: Yes, please, Mr Pushilin.

Denis Pushilin: Mr President, colleagues.

When the high voter turnout was reported in the Donetsk People’s Republic, I heard people say, “Donbass never ceases to amaze me.” But for us, for the people living in the region, this actually makes perfect sense. The population being this active during the elections was yet further confirmation that the region had made the right choice to reunite with the Russian Federation. We will be celebrating the anniversary of that choice very soon in fact. So this was a sign of approval of the path that the Donetsk People’s Republic has been taking as part of our great Motherland.

I would like to say that I am very proud of our courageous fellow countrymen who, despite all the hardships, are doing what they have to do. I bow low to them for this.

And I would like to express my deep, even enormous gratitude to you, Mr President, for giving us your full support. I think that these are not just my words – this is the opinion of the absolute majority of DPR residents. Thank you for this.

So, importantly, at this meeting, I would like to say publicly: I give you my word that I will not let you down, Mr President, and I will justify the confidence placed in me. And on behalf of my fellow countrymen and for myself, I can say with confidence: Donbass will never fail you. You can rely on us.

Donbass continues to have it rough, but this is nothing compared to what it was before, when we were face to face with the enemy. All of Russia is with us now, and I am not just referring to the fighting at the front – this is also about the rebuilding of what has been destroyed, as well as other processes that are taking place during this transitional period. We can feel this support.

Therefore, I would like to say a word of thanks for the special attitude towards the region and for the support – to the Government of the Russian Federation, to the Federation Council, and of course, to the State Duma. Special thanks to all the residents and leaders of the sponsoring regions, who are now assisting in the liberation of Donbass, doing everything they can to ensure that all of Donbass is being liberated, and of course, to ensure that the region prospers as part of the Russian Federation. Together, we can do it.

Thank you very much again.

Vladimir Putin: Good luck. Thank you.

Please, colleagues, anyone else?

Head of the Lugansk People’s Republic Leonid Pasechnik: Mr President, Pasechnik, Lugansk, may I?

Vladimir Putin: Yes, Mr Pasechnik, please go ahead.

Leonid Pasechnik: Good afternoon, Mr President. Good afternoon, colleagues.

I would like to start by expressing my immense gratitude to you personally, Mr President, the United Russia party leadership, the people of the Lugansk People’s Republic, and of course, the deputies of the People’s Council of the Lugansk People’s Republic for their trust and support.

During our joint work, we have covered a fairly long and complex path and addressed a vast number of diverse issues, the solutions to which were aimed solely at improving the well-being and quality of life for the people of our republic.

I believe the results that we achieved show that the Lugansk People’s Republic has formed a sufficiently reliable, efficient, and to some extent, perhaps, professional team that is capable of overcoming the difficulties that may arise on our path and of confronting the most complex challenges of modern times.

I assure you, Mr President, that we will continue to work as one team to develop the Lugansk People’s Republic and to strengthen the might and prosperity of our great and united homeland, the Russian Federation.

Thank you once again for the trust that you placed in us. We will not let you down. Thank you.

Vladimir Putin: I have no doubt about it, Mr Pasechnik.

In turn, I would like to thank you for what you have done so far, and more is yet to come. All the best to you. Good luck.

Please, colleagues.

Leonid Pasechnik: Thank you.

Vladimir Putin: Is that all? Shall we wrap it up?

Krasnoyarsk Territory Governor Mikhail Kotyukov: May I, Mr President? Kotyukov, Krasnoyarsk.

Vladimir Putin: Yes, please.

Mikhail Kotyukov: Mr President,

I would like to thank you for placing your faith in me. This is my first time, an entirely new experience. Your trust has been transformed into support from my fellow countrymen, the people of Siberia. Thank you very much for your attention to Krasnoyarsk Territory development issues and for the meeting that you held in August where we outlined the pressing issues that concern the people of Krasnoyarsk today.

Support during the elections is undoubtedly a significant vote of confidence, which now needs to be transformed into a programme of real actions. In this programme, we must address the pressing issues related to developing the economy, infrastructure, and social sphere, as well as, of course, supporting our military on the frontlines and their families at home, as well as expanding our defence industry.

I believe it is critically important now, as it was during the elections, to rely on the opinions of the residents of our native region about every development.

However, to address these issues, we need to bring together the efforts of the federal, regional and municipal authorities, and identify new and effective forms of cooperation with employers and entrepreneurs who work in these territories. This is the only way for us to address these priority issues, which, overall, will continue to build people’s trust in all levels of government and provide additional cohesion in the face of external challenges. I have no doubt in our ability to handle these tasks.

I will do everything in my power, everything I know and have learned while working under your guidance, to find the necessary solutions to all these issues and to improve the lives of the people of Krasnoyarsk.

Thank you very much.

Vladimir Putin: Mr Kotyukov, I wish you every success and luck. Indeed, this is a new chapter in your life and professional career.

Krasnoyarsk and the Krasnoyarsk Territory hold a special place in our country’s life, as does all of Siberia. Not only is Krasnoyarsk almost the geographical centre of Russia, but it also boasts tremendous development prospects and potential, just like the rest of Siberia and the Arctic region, since the Krasnoyarsk Territory is part of the Arctic region.

I wish success to all the elected heads of the federal constituent entities. I would like to conclude our meeting by drawing your attention to the amount of trust that the people have placed in you. Indeed, the turnout and the level of support are telltale signs. They show that people trust every one of us, you, in this particular case; they trust you specifically with much of their lives and future.

There are still many problems. Should people at long last move out of their dilapidated housing? There are many issues, lots of them, such as the lack of available places in preschools, parents still having to send their children to schools that work in three shifts, ambulance medical personnel shortages, labour market issues and demographic challenges, to name a few.

I would like to highlight something that I mentioned in my opening remarks. We have all it takes to resolve these issues, as strange as it may seem to an onlooker or doomsayers who thought that everything here would crumble. On the contrary, the economy is picking up pace, industry is working hard, the way it has not worked for a long time, agriculture is setting new records, and the construction business is growing at a pace that wasn’t seen in Soviet times.

We have everything we need to effectively follow our chosen path and to strengthen our country. But to a large extent, overall results will depend on your work in the regions.

I sincerely wish you success. All the best. 


September 28, 2023, The Kremlin, Moscow