Friendship vs. Poltavchenko

Attempts to "grant" St. Isaac's Cathedral to the Russian Orthodox Church have left their mark on the St. Petersburg's governor. Taking this opportunity, the former colleagues start blaming Poltavchenko, too. 
Last Saturday, on the Champ de Mars, the "March in defense of St. Petersburg" took place, during which the citizens expressed their claims to the governor Poltavchenko. The organizers and those present at the protest rally declare that this is the largest event in St. Petersburg in the last few years. According to various sources, 5,000 to 15,000 people visited the march in defense of St. Petersburg.

The gathering demanded that the Smolny stop attempts to transfer the St. Isaac's Cathedral to the Russian Orthodox Church. In addition, a demand was raised to protect the area around the Pulkovo Observatory from buildings that would actually "kill" the scientific institution and make it impossible to observe the celestial bodies. A separate item was the issue of uniting the Russian National Library with the Moscow RSL and eviction from the historic building of the European University.

The march gathered representatives of the St. Petersburg intelligentsia, cultural and scientific figures. Director Alexander Sokurov, actress Irina Mazurkevich, historians Lev Lurye and Dannil Kotsiubynsky, film and theater director Yury Mamin, musician Mikhail Borzykin, People's Artist Ivan Krasko came to protect Isaak, the National Library of Russia and the Pulkovo Observatory. In support of the protesters also spoke the actor Oleg Basilashvili, who could not attend the march for health reasons.

Bard Alexander Gorodnitsky wrote for the protest action a song in defense of St. Petersburg to the music of the song "Atlanta": "We will not live in darkness, / Swallowing bitter smoke." / Our beloved Isakiy / Won't be given up forever. / While the birds are singing / And the sun in blue, / We will not give up the library / To the Moscow officials"

"March in defense of St. Petersburg" showed that not only the protesters increased in number (the previous protest was attended by about 3-4 thousand people). Political slogans also increased. But the main one was the same: the demand for the resignation of Georgiy Sergeevich Poltavchenko. The townspeople expressed themselves with the self-made posters brought with them very clearly: "Books - to St. Petersburg, the governor - to Moscow", "Poltavchenko - out!", "Poltavchenko resigns. The issue is settled. "

Participants of the "March in defense of Petersburg " reminded of Georgiy Poltavchenko's old stories. In particular, the appropriation against the will of the citizens of the bridge over the Duderhof Canal named after Akhmad Kadyrov and the "order" for the destruction of the high relief with the image of Mephistopheles from the house of Lishnevsky on Lakhtinskaya Street. The last scandal even became a subject of creativity of the participants of the March, who portrayed in the form of the "demon ZakSa" the speaker of the city parliament Vyacheslav Makarov.

Nobody's pleased

The active St. Petersburg's public demands the resignation of Georgiy Sergeevich because of the situation with the unification of the RNB and the RSL, the construction near the Pulkovo Observatory and the transfer of the St. Isaac's Cathedral to the ROC. And former supporters of the governor criticize the head of the city for "inactivity", manifested in the same issue of the transfer of Isaac.
The end of last week was marked by the bringing to the public space of a conflict between the governor of Poltavchenko and his once close associate, the former deputy head of St. Petersburg administration Vasily Kichedzhi.

The post of vice-governor Vasily Kichedzhi left in 2014. Before, the ex-official was released from office pf the Rector of the Stieglitz Academy. The educational institution is subordinate to the federal agency, so from the height of his position Poltavchenko could not "set aside" the former subordinate. However, according to rumors, Georgiy Sergeevich could fill up the Ministry of Education and various instances with complaints about Kichedzhi.

True, it is possible that the dismissal of Vasily Kichedzhi was made on the basis of his professional qualities. Petersburg journalists recall that at press conferences with the participation of Kichedzhi they listened with special pleasure to how the vice-governor read the text "from paper", almost syllable by syllable. The former vice-governor presented his point of view on the conflict at his own media. According to Kichedzhi, he was in the forefront of the rectors who signed the shameful - in the opinion of the citizens - letter requesting the prompt transfer of the St. Isaac's Cathedral to the Russian Orthodox Church.

Ostensibly Poltavchenko, whom Kichedzhi himself calls completely uninitiated, did not like the activity of the former supporter and subordinate. On the sidelines of Smolny, nevertheless, they agree with Kichedzhi, who stated that for five years as governor Poltavchenko never managed to "build up" his own team. Moreover, according to rumors, the head of the city managed to "expel" the most professional managers.

The head of the city, does not comment the growing protests. Evil tongues say that the governor is intensively preparing for his own resignation, which supposedly is about to bring happiness to St. Petersburgers. The townspeople who advocate that Isaak will remain a museum, in connection with the conflict of Poltavchenko with former vice-governor Vasily Kichedzhi pleases only one thing. The promise given by Kichedzhi: "I will try to do everything to force Poltavchenko quit."

After all, with the departure of the current governor, the chance that officials will stop wasting the Petersburg cultural heritage without asking the people, will only increase.