Feb. 24 (Bloomberg) -- President Vladimir Putin dismissed the Russian government, the Kremlin's press service said. Russia's Micex index of stocks fell 1.4 percent after the announcement.
Kremlin officials declined to comment on why Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov and his government had been fired. Kasyanov has been the only head of government during Putin's four years in office.
Putin is expected to win about 80 percent of the votes at presidential elections scheduled for March 14, according to a poll conducted by the Moscow-based All Russian Center for the Study of Public Opinion from Feb. 13-16.