After eight years as the head of Russia’s communications watchdog, Roskomnadzor boss Alexander Zharov has been removed from the position at his own request by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, Polit.ru reports.
The position became vacant in January, after Dmitry Chernyshenko, who headed Gazprom-Media, became deputy prime minister in the new Russian government.
In 2018, media reports speculated Zharov could be removed from the Roskomnadzor top position after he was criticized because of the watchdog’s failed attempts to block the Telegram messenger. But he managed to maintain his position.
Interfax, citing sources, writes that in the coming days, Zharov will be officially appointed as CEO of Gazprom Media, while Andrei Lipov, head of president Putin’s department for the development of information and communication technologies and communication infrastructure, will take over his role in Roskomnadzor.
Zharov has held the top position at Roskomnadzor since 2012, prior to which he occupied senior roles in the government and public broadcaster VGTRK.
Gazprom Media’s assets include the TV channels NTV, TNT, Pyatnitsa, Match TV and TV3.