Putin's Senior Adviser Reportedly in Israel After Leaving Russia Over Ukraine Invasion

Russian-Jewish Anatoly Chubais was the Kremlin’s special representative for ties with international organizations, and had been an architect of economic reforms and privatization under Boris Yeltsin in the 1990s

Putin and Anatoly Chubais outside Moscow, Russia, November 7, 2016.
Putin and Anatoly Chubais outside Moscow, Russia, November 7, 2016.Credit: AP

Russian businessman Anatoly Chubais, the architect of Russia's post-Soviet economic reforms and a former senior adviser to President Vladimir Putin, landed in Israel on Wednesday, according to Russian media outlets.

The Russian businessman, who is Jewish, resigned from his role as a Kremlin special envoy in March and left Russia following the invasion of Ukraine. In a picture posted on social media, Chubais was seen with his wife Avdotya Smirnova in the COVID testing area at Israel's Ben-Gurion Airport.

Chubais, 66, was one of the architects of the economic reforms and privatization process under President Boris Yeltsin in the 1990s. He was the Kremlin’s special representative for ties with international organizations, and was charged with "achieving goals of sustainable development" in 2020.

Chubais is one of the most senior officials who reportedly resigned from his role due to disagreements over Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett spoke on the phone amid rising tensions sparked following Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's assertion that Adolf Hitler had "Jewish blood."

Bennett's office said that Putin apologized for Lavrov's remarks, and Bennett accepted the apology. Bennett thanked Putin for clarifying the Russian president's attitude toward the Jewish people and the memory of the Holocaust, Bennett's office said in a statement.

The statement issued by the Kremlin about the phone call did not mention an apology by Putin.

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