Kabardino-Balkaria profile

President: Yuri Kokov

Yuri Kokov was unanimously elected by the region's parliament out of three candidates proposed by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

A career interior ministry official, Mr Kokov had already been appointed acting regional head by Mr Putin a year earlier, with the task of stepping up efforts to combat militant activity.

Prior to the appointment, he had worked as head of the Russian interior ministry's training institute, and before that as chief of the ministry's anti-extremism unit.

He replaced Arsen Kanokov, a former businessman who had stepped down amid speculation of a power struggle with local security organs and strained relations with Moscow.

In the months leading up to Mr Kanokov's resignation, federal law-enforcement officials had launched several corruption investigations against some of his aides.

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