Anatoly Chubais is the Kremlin’s highest ranking official who cut ties with Moscow since the invasion of Ukraine.

Anatoly Chubais, an economic reformer in the post-Soviet Union years and the author of Russia‚Äôs controversial privatization program was fired as the presidential envoy for sustainable development. This came after reports that he had fled the country over his opposition to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Chubais, the most senior official to cut ties with the Kremlin after the invasion of Ukraine, was one the few 1990s Russian reformers who survived throughout Putin’s presidency, although he had little influence in recent years.

Chubais was not a member of Putin’s dwindling inner circle of hard-line security and military chiefs, known as the siloviki, or men of power. But his departure underscores the alarm felt by many in Russia’s comfortable urban classes at Putin’s war and his mounting witch-hunt for traitors and “fifth columnists.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Chubais had resigned but did not confirm he had left the country. “Yes. “Yes. Peskov said that Chubais resigned at his own will.

Ruslan Edelgeriev, President Vladimir Putin’s representative on climate issues, also confirmed Chubais’s resignation in comments to RIA Novosti.

Tass reported Chubais’s departure from Russia. Kommersant published an image of Chubais withdrawing money from an Istanbul automated teller machine. The first news agency to report the story was Bloomberg News. It reported that he left Russia due to his opposition against Putin’s war.

Chubais was married to Avdotya Shirnova. She signed an open letter last month from philanthropists opposing the war.

Chubais was unpopular in Russia for his role in helping push through the notorious “loans-for-shares” privatization deal in the mid-1990s, which spawned Russia’s class of ultrarich oligarchs. A group of bankers loaned money and picked up jewels from Russian industry for throwaway prices. This included Vladimir Potanin who seized a significant share of Norilsk Nickel.

In the early 1990s, Chubais, was part of a team of reformers associated with economist Yegor Gaidar, the latter who served as deputy prime minister and finance minister but stepped down before the loans-for-shares deal.

Last week, Chubai, 66, posted an oblique post on Facebook to commemorate Gaidar’s death in 2009. He claimed he was wrong about Russia’s strategic threats. This apparent reference is to Russia’s current policy under Putin.

Chubais stated that it felt like “an entire age” has passed since Gaidar’s passing.

” In our conversations about Russia’s future, I didn’t always agree with him. Chubais said that it seemed like Gaidar knew the strategic risks more than me, and he was right. He recently wrote a tribute to Boris Yeltsin on his Facebook Page. On Feb. 27 on Facebook, Chubais marked the anniversary of the death of prominent pro-democracy politician Boris Nemtsov, who was gunned down near the Kremlin in 2015 after harshly criticizing Putin’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine. Facebook and Instagram were both blocked in Russia, and Meta was banned by a Moscow court as an extremist organization Tuesday. )

Chubais, who like Putin was from St. Petersburg, reportedly gave Putin his first Kremlin job in 1997 and supported his rise to power in 1999.

In 2008, Chubais was appointed to the Russian Nanotechnology Corp., a state nanotechnology firm that was supposed to develop cutting edge technologies, later renamed Rosnano. In December 2020, Chubais was fired due to inefficiency and unprofitable projects. Putin instead created an envoy for sustainable development.

Since being heavily criticised for his stance against the invasion, Arkady Davorkovich, an ex-deputy prime Minister and Kremlin aide, has resigned as the head of Skolkovo’s technology fund.

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