Anatoly Chubais, an adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin on climate change, has resigned and left Russia over disagreements over the war in Ukraine.
According to media reports, he left for Turkey and has no plans to return to Russia.
Chubais left an indelible mark on Russia’s transition in the 1990s, known as the mastermind of privatization, in which more than 15,000 state-owned companies acquired private ownership and the man who brought Putin to the Kremlin.
He was considered a market-oriented economist in Leningrad in the 1980s, and in 1987 founded the Leningrad branch of Perestroika.
As Deputy Speaker of the Leningrad Assembly in 1990, he rose to prominence and advanced with Anatoly Sobchak, the mayor of St. Petersburg.
In November 1991, he became Minister in the cabinet of Boris Yeltsin, in charge of state property management and privatization.
He was a close associate of Yegor Gaidar, who briefly served as prime minister and then deputy prime minister, with whom he created the reform of the Russian economy.
As a supporter of shock therapy, he proposed swift privatization, but his plan failed in the Duma because lawmakers feared that such vast assets in state-owned companies would fall into the hands of foreigners and criminals. .
Later, his second proposal for privatization with vouchers passed, and the result was a group of oligarchs close to the Kremlin who bought huge resources, especially in the energy sector, and earned billions from the difference in prices at which these state-owned companies were sold and the world prices.
At the same time, the living standards of the Russian population were declining due to high inflation and the devaluation of the ruble.
Years later, this period of Russian transition was widely criticized in Russia, although he was hailed in the West as a liberal reformer and even addressed the Bilderberg group.
Economic reforms under his leadership have borne fruit since 1995, when inflation fell to three percent.
Despite allegations of corruption, Chubais resigned as deputy prime minister in 1996 and campaigned for the re-election of Yeltsin, who at the time had the support of about 3 percent of voters. Yeltsin won a second term, and Chubais became head of the president’s administration.
According to some claims, Chubais, three years younger than Putin, brought the current president to Moscow from Leningrad in 1996 to the team of the head of the presidential cabinet.
In 1998, Yeltsin appointed Putin director of the Federal Security Service (FSB), a successor to the KGB.
According to Yeltsin’s daughter, Chubais opposed Yeltsin’s election as Putin’s successor, fearing that he would not be supported by the Duma and that the Communist Party would take power.
As it is known, this did not happen, so on December 31, 1999, Putin succeeded Yeltsin as President of Russia, and Chubais became the Chairman of the Board of the Russian power company RAO UES.
At the helm of the vast power sector, he actually had more power in his hands than when he was in government.
He reformed this company, established payment discipline, but at the cost of turning off the electricity to the population in some areas during the winter.
However, his influence waned as Putin’s power grew, although he remained among his advisers, one of the few collaborators from the 1990s.
Since 2008, he has been the director of Rosnanotek, a state-owned company tasked with developing innovations and helping to reduce the Russian state’s energy dependence.
He was in this position until December 2020.
How rich is Chubais? Some speculation is between $ 5 million and $ 5 million, but that seems like a ridiculous understatement. Why did Putin keep such a man in his orbit, for whom the people demanded to be imprisoned for criminal privatization, and why did he not really imprison him?