Matviyenko in 2011
|4th Chairwoman of the Federation Council|
21 September 2011
|Aleksander Torshin (acting)|
|Senator from Saint Petersburg|
31 August 2011
|3rd Governor of Saint Petersburg|
15 October 2003 - 22 August 2011
|Deputy Prime Minister of Russia|
24 September 1998 - 11 March 2003
|2nd Presidential Envoy to the Northwestern Federal District|
11 March 2003 - 15 October 2003
|Russian Ambassador to Greece|
|Russian Ambassador to Malta|
Valentina Ivanovna Tyutina
7 April 1949
Shepetivka, Kamianets-Podilskyi Oblast, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union
|Political party||United Russia|
Vladimir Vasilyevich Matviyenko
|Children||Sergey Matviyenko (b. 1973)|
|Alma mater||Leningrad Institute of Chemistry and Pharmaceutics|
Valentina Ivanovna Matviyenko (Russian: ? ?, IPA: [v?ln't?in? ?'van?vn? m?tv'j?nk?], Ukrainian: ; née Tyutina (?; IPA: ['ttn?], Ukrainian: ); born 7 April 1949) is a Russian politician serving as the Senator from Saint Petersburg and Chairwoman of the Federation Council since 2011. Previously she was Governor of Saint Petersburg from 2003 to 2011.
Born in Ukraine, Matviyenko started her political career in the 1980s in Leningrad (now called Saint Petersburg), and was the First Secretary of the Krasnogvardeysky District Communist Party of the city from 1984 to 1986. In the 1990s, Matviyenko served as the Russian Ambassador to Malta (1991-1995), and to Greece (1997-1998). From 1998 to 2003, Matviyenko was Deputy Prime Minister for Welfare, and briefly the Presidential Envoy to the Northwestern Federal District in 2003. By that time, Matviyenko was firmly allied with Russian President Vladimir Putin, an alliance which secured her a victory in the gubernatorial elections in Saint Petersburg, Putin's native city.
Matviyenko became the first female leader of Saint Petersburg. Since the start of Matviyenko's service as governor, a significant share of taxation money was transferred from the federal budget to the local budget, and along with the booming economy and improving investment climate the standard of living significantly increased in the city, making income levels much closer to Moscow, and far above most other Russian federal subjects. The profile of Saint Petersburg in Russian politics has risen, marked by the transfer of the Constitutional Court of Russia from Moscow in 2008. Matviyenko developed a large number of megaprojects in housing and infrastructure, such as the construction of the Saint Petersburg Ring Road, including the Big Obukhovsky Bridge (the only non-draw bridge over the Neva River in the city), completion of the Saint Petersburg Dam aimed to put an end to the infamous Saint Petersburg floods, launching Line 5 of Saint Petersburg Metro, and starting land reclamation in the Neva Bay for the new Marine Facade of the city (the largest European waterfront development project) containing the Passenger Port of St. Petersburg. Several major auto-producing companies were drawn to Saint Petersburg or its vicinity, including Toyota, General Motors, Nissan, Hyundai Motor, Suzuki, Magna International, Scania, and MAN SE (all having plants in the Shushary industrial zone), thus turning the city into an important center of automotive industry in Russia, specializing in foreign brands. Another development of Matviyenko's governorship was tourism; by 2010 the number of tourists in Saint Petersburg doubled and reached 5.2 million, which placed the city among the top five tourist centers in Europe.
Some actions and practices of Governor Matviyenko have drawn significant criticisms from the Saint Petersburg public, the media, and opposition groups. In particular, new construction in already heavily built-up areas and several building projects were deemed to conflict with the classical architecture of the city, where the entire centre is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Some projects eventually were cancelled or modified, such as the controversial design of a 400-metre-tall Okhta Center skyscraper, planned to be built adjacent to the historical center of the city; however, after a public campaign and the personal involvement of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, it was relocated from Okhta to the Lakhta suburb. Another major point of criticism was Matviyenko's handling of the city's snow removal problems during the unusually cold and snowy winters of 2009-10 and 2010-11. On 22 August 2011, soon after completion of the Saint Petersburg Dam, Matviyenko resigned from office. As a member of the ruling United Russia Party, on 21 September 2011, Matviyenko was elected as Chairwoman of the Federation Council, the country's third-highest elected office.
Valentina Tyutina was born in Shepetivka in the Khmelnytskyi Oblast of Western Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union. In 1972, Matviyenko graduated from Leningrad Institute of Chemistry and Pharmaceutics, where she met her husband, Vladimir Vasilyevich Matviyenko. They had a son, Sergey, in 1973. Matviyenko held various leadership positions within the Komsomol organization until 1984.
On 24 June 2003, after Saint Petersburg governor Vladimir Yakovlev resigned ahead of schedule, Matviyenko announced that she was ready to run for governor. Her nomination was supported by the United Russia political party and President Vladimir Putin. Putin publicly supported her candidacy on 2 September in a meeting that was broadcast by two state-owned TV stations. Previously, at the end of June, the new management of local channel St. Petersburg Television shut down a range of analytical programmes on local politics, which was thought to be one of the factors in elections outcome.
In the first round of elections held on 21 September 2003, Matviyenko came first with 48.61% of the vote, followed by Anna Markova, a former member of Yakovlev's staff, with 15.89%. 10.97 percent of the electorate voted against all nine nominees. Turnout was low at just 29%. On 5 October 2003 Matviyenko won the second round with 63 percent (vs. 24% for Anna Markova) and was elected governor of Saint Petersburg, the head of the Saint Petersburg City Administration. She became the first female head of government of Saint Petersburg.
In 2005 a new Russian federal law came into force whereby governors are proposed by the President of Russia and approved or disapproved by regional legislative assemblies rather than elected by direct popular vote. On 6 December 2006, one year before her term as elected governor would expire, Valentina Matviyenko asked Vladimir Putin to nominate her for approval according to the new legislation, and he agreed. She was approved by the Saint Petersburg Legislative Assembly on 22 December 2006.
On 3 March 2007, scores of participants of the Dissenters' March, organized by marginal opposition parties, demonstrated in the city's main avenue, Nevsky Prospekt, calling for governor Matviyenko's dismissal. She in turn accused them of stirring up trouble ahead of elections to the Saint Petersburg Legislative Assembly scheduled for 11 March, of criticising the city's perceived dynamic development and for allegedly receiving financial support from dubious sources. On 15 April 2007, the Dissenters' March took place in Saint Petersburg for the second time.
On 19 May 2007, the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation announced that on 16 May it had detained several members of an undisclosed youth religious group allegedly preparing an assassination attempt on Valentina Matviyenko's life using hand grenades and plastic explosive. On 23 May FSB Director Nikolay Patrushev announced that the prevented attempt had been scheduled for June.
Matviyenko electoral promises included the transfer of a significant share of taxation money from the federal budget to the local one, which was supported by President Putin, a native of Saint Petersburg. Along with the booming economy and improving investment climate this allowed to significantly improve the standard of living in the city, making income levels much closer to Moscow and high above most other Russian federal subjects.
New governor pledged her support for the idea of transferring some part of the capital's functions from Moscow to Saint Petersburg. The role of Saint Petersburg in Russian politics has risen, marked by the transfer of the Constitutional Court of Russia from Moscow in 2008. The city's main television broadcast, Petersburg - Channel 5, in October 2006 was licensed to broadcast nationwide again.
Matviyenko developed a large number of megaprojects in housing and infrastructure, such as building of the Saint Petersburg Ring Road including the Big Obukhovsky Bridge (the only non-draw bridge over the Neva River in the city), completion of the Saint Petersburg Dam aimed to put an end to ill-famous Saint Petersburg floods, launching Line 5 of Saint Petersburg Metro and starting land reclamation in the Neva Bay for the new Marine Facade of the city (the largest European waterfront development project) containing the Passenger Port of St. Petersburg.
Several major auto-producing companies were drawn to Saint Petersburg or its vicinity, including Toyota, General Motors, Nissan, Hyundai Motor, Suzuki, Magna International, Scania and MAN SE (all having plants in Shushary industrial zone), thus turning the city into an important center of automotive industry in Russia, specializing on foreign brands.
The city administration launched a number of programs aimed to increase the number of tourist arrivals (such as advertisement campaigns abroad) and to improve the tourist infrastructure in the city, including the construction of new hotels. Between 2003-2010 the number of tourists in Saint Petersburg doubled and reached 5.2 million, which placed the city among the top 5 tourist centers in Europe.
The June celebration of the graduation from school, the Scarlet Sails (a part of the White Nights Festival), rose to a new scale under Matviyenko and began to be broadcast nationwide on Petersburg - Channel 5. The Saint Petersburg Carnivals on the day of the city, 27 May, also became much grander.
The new construction in already heavily built-up areas was a point of continuous criticism during Matviyenko's governorship. Of especial note were a number of building projects deemed by many experts and conservative public to contradict the classical architecture of the city where the entire centre is UNESCO World Heritage site.
Matviyenko supported the construction project of the Gazprom City business center (also called Okhta Center) including a 400-meter skyscraper holding the headquarters of some of Gazprom's subsidiaries on the right bank of the Neva River in the vicinity of the historic Smolny Cathedral. The current regulations forbidding construction buildings of more than 42 meters (48 with expert approval) were specially changed by the city administration for the project.
By the end of her governor service, Matviyenko more eagerly engaged in dialogue with the groups of the so-called gradozaschitniki (, "city-defenders"). A number of controversial projects eventually were cancelled or modified. Notably, after an extensive public protest campaign, which lasted several years, and after the personal involvement of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, the Okhta Center was relocated from Okhta to Lakhta suburb.
Other controversial projects include the Mariinsky Theatre Second Stage and the reconstruction of the New Holland Island. Both projects required destruction of some of the earlier historic buildings, and the new stage of the Mariinsky Theatre was originally attempted to be built according to a highly original design by French architect Dominique Perrault, resembling a cocoon. The project, however, was deemed too costly and too much out-of-line with the surrounding classical architecture, and the design was changed.
Matviyenko's handling of the cleaning of the city from snow during the unusually cold and snowy winters of 2009-2010 and 2010-2011, in the last two years of her governorship, drew criticism, especially from the automobile owners and drivers in the city. The authorities were unprepared for vast amounts of snow on the city streets, especially in the historical centre, and there was a lack of snow cleaning equipment.
Businessman Vitaly Arkhangelsky accused Matviyenko of corporate raiding and corruption. According to him, Matvieyenko is the real owner of the Bank Saint Petersburg that staged a corporate raid on the property of his company, OMG that included Vyborg Port and Western Terminal of Saint Petersburg port using falsified documents with Arkhangelsy's forged signature. The lawyers of Bank Saint Petersburg insist on exclusion materials of Matviyenko's involvement from the criminal case in London court.[clarification needed]
On 22 August 2011, soon after completion of the Saint Petersburg Dam along with the Saint Petersburg Ring Road, Matviyenko resigned from the office of the governor of Saint Petersburg.Georgy Poltavchenko was appointed as acting governor in her place. She was backed by President Dmitry Medvedev as a candidate to head the Federal Assembly or Upper House of the Russian Federation. The previous speaker of the Federation Council, Sergey Mironov, was recalled in May after criticising Matviyenko's handling of Saint Petersburg. The leader of A Just Russia party, Mironov was ousted by the majority United Russia and replaced by an acting speaker Alexander Torshin.
As a member of United Russia party, Matviyenko stood in a municipal election in August in order to have legal possibilities to attain the office in the Federation Council. She won the municipal election with more than 95% of the vote, despite having 18% approval rating in July, for which she was criticized by the opposition.
On 17 March 2014, the next day after the Crimean status referendum, Matviyenko became one of the first seven persons who were put by President Obama under executive sanctions. The sanctions freeze her assets in the US and ban her from entering the United States. Due to her role in 2014 Annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation she was put on the sanction list by the United States and Canada on 17 March 2014, the European Union on 21 March 2014, Switzerland on 2 April 2014, Liechtenstein on 17 April 2014, Australia on 19 June 2014, and Ukraine on 16 October 2016.
Valentina Matviyenko has a son, Sergey (ru, born 5 May 1973), with her husband, Vladimir Vasilyevich Matviyenko. In May 2003 Sergey Matviyenko was appointed vice-president of the Bank Saint Petersburg. Later he also became vice-president and first vice-president (2005) of Vneshtorgbank. Sergey married Zara Mgoyan, a Russian pop singer of Armenian and Kurdish origin (b. 1983) on 30 April 2004, but they divorced a year later.
| Presidential Envoy to the Northwestern Federal District
| Governor of Saint Petersburg
| Chairwoman of the Federation Council of Russia