Chubais, Anatoly Borisovich

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(b. 1955), reform economist and official in Yeltsin government.

Anatoly Borisovich Chubais was born in 1955. In 1977 he graduated from an engineering-economic institute in Leningrad, and in 1983 he defended a thesis on management problems. His early career was linked to the democratic movement in Leningrad. Following the failed coup in August 1991 (against Mikhail Gorbachev), he resigned his membership in the Communist Party.

As one of the most prominent of Russia's "young reform economists," in November 1991 he was appointed to serve as chairman of the Russian State Property Committee. From that post he would lead and influence the Russian program of mass privatization, personally favoring the use of special privatization vouchers and privatization via auctions. In 1993 he was also elected to the Russian Duma, representing the liberal party Russia's Choice.

Following a series of scandals in relation to various privatization deals, in January 1996 Chubais was fired from his post. A month later, however, he returned to the national stage to serve as campaign manager for Boris Yeltsin's reelection campaign. From there he proceeded to the influential post of head of the presidential administration.

In March 1997 Chubais capped his political career by being appointed first deputy prime minister in charge of the economy, a post that he would hold until March 1998, when Yeltsin chose to dismiss the entire government.

Throughout his various posts in government, Chubais became known as one of the most competent but also one of the most controversial of the reformers. While his popularity in Western business and policy circles seemed to guarantee appointments to prominent posts, his standing with the general population and with the political opposition inside his own country was very poor.

In April 1998 Chubais was appointed to serve as chief executive officer of the Russian power giant Unified Energy Systems (UES). Like his role in government, his way of running UES was surrounded by controversy, earning him much praise but also much criticism.

See also: gorbachev, mikhail sergeyevich; liberalism; privatization; yeltsin, boris nikolayevich


Aslund, Anders. (1995). How Russia Became a Market Economy. Washington, DC: Brookings.

Wedel, Janine R. (1998). Collision and Collusion. New York: St. Martin's.

Stefan Hedlund