Governor of Russian oil-rich region resigns, was criticised over war comments

MOSCOW (Reuters) -Natalia Komarova, the governor of Siberia's oil-rich Khanty-Mansiisk region who was last year criticised for remarks she made about the war in Ukraine, announced on Thursday that she was resigning from her post.

In a video posted on her Telegram channel, Komarova, who oversaw a region also known as Yugra, which accounts for more than 40% of Russia's total oil output, said she was moving to another undisclosed job even though her term in office does not expire until next year.

Hours later, the Kremlin released video of President Vladimir Putin meeting Ruslan Kukharuk, the mayor of the city of Tyumen, offering him Komarova's job.

"I wish you success and good luck in your new job," Putin told Kukharuk.

When asked about the change, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Putin had praised Komarova's work as governor.

"Yugra is developing and has been developing all these years very dynamically," he said, declining to comment on Komarova's future.

Komarova, who did not explain why she stepped down, was censured by an anti-war activist last year who called for her to be prosecuted for discrediting the Russian army. That criticism came after she appeared to suggest Moscow had not needed or been ready for what it calls its special military operation in Ukraine.

Aides said her remarks had been taken out of context and that Komarova supported the military.

In her resignation video, she thanked Putin for his trust and spoke of the efforts being made by Russian forces on the frontline.

Komarova, 68, was the only serving female governor and had been at the helm of the regional administration since 2010.

Before that, she had headed the committee on natural resources at Russia's State Duma lower house of parliament.

(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin Editing by Andrew Osborn and Bernadette Baum)