In January, Ignatyev came under fire after calling for journalists to be “wiped out” if they question the authorities. Later that month, he was caught on camera humiliating a local firefighter. While handing out keys for new fire engines, Ignatyev held a set above the head of an officer, forcing the firefighter to jump to reach them. On January 29, Ignatyev was handed his resignation papers.

A court spokesman told TASS news agency that Ignatyev, who served as Chuvash leader for 10 years, would challenge his resignation in the Russian Supreme Court.

“Mikhail Ignatyev has filed a lawsuit with the Supreme Court to challenge the presidential decree on his early resignation as the head of the Republic of Chuvashia. The first court session will be held on June 30,” the spokesman said.

Speaking to reporters, Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov explained that the Kremlin learned about the case from the media, but declined to offer further comment, saying the lawsuit is not “the main issue” for the Kremlin.

“So far, I can’t say anything as no decisions have been made in this regard.” he said, “I have absolutely no comment about it. So far, the court has been carrying out the actions it considers necessary.”

Speaking to newspaper RBK, lawyer Ruslan Koblev said the lawsuit is an unprecedented move.

“The president’s regulatory legal acts are constantly disputed, but in terms of decrees on [someone’s] suspension due to loss of confidence – this has not happened for the last 20 years”, he explained. “Usually they don’t come out with such claims because they understand that it could get worse.”

The last time the president fired a regional leader in connection with a “loss of confidence” was in April 2017. Vladimir Putin sacked the head of Udmurtia, Alexander Solovyov, after he was arrested on suspicion of receiving a bribe.

2020 has been an eventful year for Ignatyev. Aside from getting fired and attempting to sue the president, the politician was hospitalized with pneumonia. According to a source at the Kommersant newspaper, Ignatiev has been in a Saint Petersburg hospital since early May and is in a serious condition.

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