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Russian governor, 18 other officials arrested in corruption case

Russia's president Vladimir Putin and Republic of Komi head Vyacheslav Gaizer shake hands during a meeting at Bocharov ruchei residence.
Russia's president Vladimir Putin and Republic of Komi head Vyacheslav Gaizer shake hands during a meeting at Bocharov ruchei residence. ITAR-TASS/ Alexei Druzhinin

MOSCOW – Russian investigators have arrested the governor of the northern Komi region and 18 other officials in a high-profile corruption case.

The arrest of Gov. Vyacheslav Gaizer on Saturday was given extensive coverage on state television, which showed investigators finding a stash of cash and a collection of expensive Swiss watches in his office.

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The television report also noted failures by Gaizer’s administration to address problems in his region and showed President Vladimir Putin warning governors at a meeting last week that they needed to work “honestly and with total efficiency.”

The intention appeared to be to send a message to other regional leaders that the Kremlin would do more to hold them accountable at a time with Russia’s economy is being badly hit by low oil prices and Western sanctions.

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