Residents of three Siberian regions voted to merge into one province this week in what is likely to be a trend toward fewer autonomous regions within Russia. Evenki and Taimyr were broken off from Krasnoyarsk after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union to give the ethnic minorities there more autonomy. The restored Krasnoyarsk will be a single, resource-rich province of Russia larger than all of Western Europe. Moscows Izvestiya reported that the move was a first step toward the eventual consolidation of Russias 89 regions down to around 40. President Vladimir Putin, who recently gave himself authority to name regional governors, believes itll be easier to control a smaller number of appointees.