Anatoly Chubais, a former senior Russian government official who fled the country shortly after the invasion of Ukraine on Tuesday, has acquired Israeli citizenship, according to media reports.
Chubais – the former Kremlin chief of staff who oversaw liberal economic reforms in the 1990s – left his position as an adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin a month after the war began. He then fled the country in protest of the war and was first seen in Israel in May 2022.
Chubais, who is Jewish, was seen on Tuesday handing over files at the Nof Hagalil branch of the Population, Immigration and Border Authority, apparently to obtain his official identity documents.
Chubais denied reports that he had gone to the PIBA office “to replace documents related to my stay in Israel”.
But an Israeli official confirmed the details of the report to Kan News. PIBA said they cannot share details on the matter.
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Chubais was Putin’s envoy to international organizations on sustainable development, and is well known in Russia. Beginning under former President Boris Yeltsin, he held high-profile positions for nearly three decades.
Anatoly Chubais, former Russian government official at the Nof Hagalil branch of the Population, Immigration and Border Authority, May 16, 2023. (Kan Screenshot: Used in accordance with section 27A of the Copyright Act)
Chubais was Deputy Prime Minister from 1994 to 1996 and First Deputy Prime Minister in 1997–1998, and was the architect of Yeltsin’s privatization campaign.
Under Yeltsin, Chubais reportedly recommended the administration to be appointed to Putin, a move widely seen as a turning point in Putin’s career. Putin became President of Russia in 2000, when Yeltsin stepped down.
In March 2022, reports citing unnamed sources stated that Chubais had quit because of the war in Ukraine. He has not commented publicly on his resignation.
Several public figures have condemned the invasion of Ukraine and quit their positions at state-run institutions and companies, which may signal a split in Russia’s official ranks over the war. There are no signs so far that the resignations have reached Putin’s inner circle.
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