Jump to content

Sergei Furgal

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sergei Furgal
Сергей Фургал
3rd Governor of Khabarovsk Krai
In office
28 September 2018 – 20 July 2020
PresidentVladimir Putin
Preceded byVyacheslav Shport
Succeeded byMikhail Degtyarev
Member of the State Duma
In office
24 December 2007 – 27 September 2018
ConstituencyKomsomolsk-na-Amure (2016–18)
Personal details
Sergei Ivanovich Furgal

(1970-02-12) 12 February 1970 (age 54)
Poyarkovo, Amur Oblast, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Political partyLiberal Democratic Party of Russia

Sergei Ivanovich Furgal (/fʊərˈɡɑːl/ foor-GAHL; Russian: Сергей Иванович Фургал; born 12 February 1970) is a Russian politician who served as Governor of Khabarovsk Krai from 2018 until his arrest and removal in 2020. In response to his arrest, widely seen as politically motivated, unsuccessful mass protests were held in the region calling for his release.[1] In February 2023, Furgal was sentenced to 22 years in prison following a jury guilty verdict for double murder.[2]

Furgal was previously a member of the State Duma from 2007 to 2018. He is a member of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia.[3]


Furgal holds a medical degree from Blagoveshchensk State Medical Institute and practiced from 1992 to 1999.

In 2008, Furgal was awarded the Honorary Diploma of the Chairman of the State Duma for his contributions to the development of legislation and parliamentarism in Russia.[4]

In the 6th State Duma, he held the position of chairman of the committee on health protection from October 2015 to October 2016.[5] From 2005 to 2007, he was a deputy of the Legislative Duma of the Khabarovsk Krai on a temporary basis. He holds a master's degree in Economics from the Russian Academy of Public Service,[5] and a bachelor's degree in the medical field from Amur State Medical Academy.



When Furgal announced his candidacy in the 2018 gubernatorial election, he was widely seen as having little chance of victory, as incumbent Vyacheslav Shport was expected to win. In the first round, however, Furgal gained a surprise 35.81%, whilst Shport gained 35.62%.[6] In the second round, Furgal was elected Governor of Khabarovsk Krai in a landslide, gaining 69.57%.[7] His win was largely attributed to anti-establishment sentiment shared on both the left and right of the political spectrums.[8] According to The Moscow Times, "Protest-minded voters in the region back then were ready to vote for anyone in order to defeat the candidate backed by the regime. ... Putin had personally backed the incumbent, Vyacheslav Shport, so Furgal’s refusal to quit the race was seen as unforgivable".[9]

Furgal took office on 28 September 2018.[10] Since then, his party has won a number of statewide and local elections. With the help of Alexei Navalny's Smart Voting, the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) gained a majority in the Legislative Duma of Khabarovsk Krai, the City Duma of Khabarovsk, the City Duma of Komsomolsk-on-Amur, and two seats in the State Duma in 2019.[11]

Arrest and trial[edit]

On 9 July 2020, Furgal was arrested by federal authorities on charges of involvement in multiple murders of several businessmen in the region and nearby territories in 2004 and 2005.[12] He faced a maximum sentence of life in prison.[13] Furgal denied the allegations.[14]

Protests in support of Furgal began after his arrest. On 11 July, tens of thousands of people were estimated to have taken part in the protests in Khabarovsk against Furgal's arrest with slogans against President Putin, alleging the timing of the arrest was politically motivated – Furgal won by a landslide against the Kremlin's candidate in Khabarovsk Krai's gubernatorial election in 2018.[15] While the rally was unauthorised, no arrests were made and police did not intervene.[16][17][18]

Subsequently, Furgal was replaced by Mikhail Degtyarev on 20 July. Two regional lawmakers in Khabarovsk opted to leave the LDPR in protest against Furgal's dismissal.[19]

According to the Financial Times, an employee of the Russian presidential administration said on condition of anonymity that: "The target set for my colleagues was to decrease the approval rating for governor Furgal, and prepare him for election defeat. They started working on Furgal now because they failed to fulfil the rating plan: He was too popular. The arrest is not about murders, it is solely about politics."[20]

In May 2022, Furgal's trial began in Lyubertsy City Court in Moscow Oblast where he was charged with attempted murder as well as having ordered two killings in 2004 and 2005 where he faced a life sentence; Furgal rejected any involvement and called the case politically motivated.[21] In November, Furgal began a hunger strike while his trial continued.[22]

On 2 February 2023, a guilty verdict was given by the jury for double murder.[23] A small protest was held in Khabarovsk's Lenin Square following the verdict.[2] On 8 February, the state prosecutor requested 23 years in prison following the jury's verdict.[24] On 10 February, the court sentenced Furgal to 22 years in a strict regime colony.[2] Three other defendants were also sentenced.[25]


Furgal is the youngest of 10 children in his family. One of his brothers, Vyacheslav (1953–2020), a member of the Legislative Duma of Khabarovsk Krai, died of COVID-19 on 13 June 2020. Furgal is married and has 3 children. His son, Anton (born 2 August 1991),[26] is also a member of LDPR.[27]


  1. ^ В Хабаровском крае в должность вступил новый глава региона. Far Eastern Federal District. 28 September 2018. Retrieved 11 August 2020.
  2. ^ a b c "Russia Hands Popular Former Governor 22-Year Prison Sentence". The Moscow Times. 10 February 2023.
  3. ^ Врачей для государственных больниц и поликлиник предлагают обучать бесплатно. Primgazeta.ru. 10 March 2016. Retrieved 11 August 2020.
  4. ^ Сергей Иванович Фургал. ЛДПР
  5. ^ a b Сергей Фургал избран председателем комитета Государственной думы по охране здоровья. Gubernia.com. 16 October 2015. Retrieved 11 August 2020.
  6. ^ Russian Opposition Candidate On Track To Win In Gubernatorial Runoff. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 22 September 2018. Retrieved 11 August 2020.
  7. ^ 100% голосов подсчитано: губернатором Хабаровского края стал Фургал. MK.ru. 23 September 2018. Retrieved 11 August 2020.
  8. ^ "News Russia's city Khabarovsk rises against Vladimir Putin". Deutsche Welle. 4 August 2020.
  9. ^ "Russia's In-System Opposition Gets Second Chance in Khabarovsk". The Moscow Times. 27 July 2020.
  10. ^ Фургал вступил в должность губернатора Хабаровского края. Gazeta.Ru. 28 September 2018. Retrieved 11 August 2020.
  11. ^ "LDPR Became the "Party in Power" in the Khabarovsk Territory". VostokMedia (in Russian). 9 September 2019.
  12. ^ Associated Press (9 July 2020). "Russian provincial governor arrested over killings of business rivals". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077.
  13. ^ "Russian governor faces jail time over death of 15 entrepreneurs – EU-OCS – European Observatory of Crimes and Security". eu-ocs.com. Retrieved 11 July 2020.
  14. ^ "Sergei Furgal: The arrest fuelling anti-Moscow anger in Russia's far east". BBC News. 17 July 2020.
  15. ^ "Russia far east protest over Khabarovsk governor's arrest". BBC News. 11 July 2020.
  16. ^ "В Хабаровске прошел самый массовый митинг в истории города — в защиту арестованного губернатора Сергея Фургала. Главное". Meduza. 11 July 2020.
  17. ^ Kantchev, Georgi (12 July 2020). "Protesters in Russia's Far East Call for Putin to Resign". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660.
  18. ^ Higgins, Andrew (11 July 2020). "Protests Rock Russian Far East With Calls for Putin to Resign". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331.
  19. ^ "Anti-Putin Protests in Russia's Far East Gather Steam". VOA News. 25 July 2020.
  20. ^ "Protesting Putin: Kremlin faces revolt in the regions". Financial Times. 6 August 2020.
  21. ^ "Trial Of Former Far East Governor Opens In Russian Court". RFE/RL. 11 May 2022.
  22. ^ "Former Russian Regional Governor Launches Hunger Strike As His Trial In Moscow Continues". RFE/RL. 23 November 2022.
  23. ^ "Присяжные признали хабаровского экс-губернатора Фургала виновным по делу об убийствах". Interfax. 2 February 2023.
  24. ^ "Гособвинение запросило для Сергея Фургала 23 года колонии по делу об убийствах". Interfax. 8 February 2023.
  25. ^ "Суд приговорил экс-губернатора Фургала к 22 годам колонии по делу об убийствах". Interfax. 10 February 2023.
  26. ^ Сергей Иванович Фургал. ТАСС. TASS. Retrieved 11 August 2020.
  27. ^ Ishchenko, Elena (1 July 2014). Три Фургала и все — кандидаты. Toz.su. Retrieved 11 August 2020.

External links[edit]