Eastern Europe

1990s Russian Reform Architect Anatoly Chubais Sets Up Tel Aviv Think Tank To Chart Russian Future By Understanding Recent Past

The though of Israel being involved in Russia’s future is interesting to say the least.

SOCHI. With Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Khristenko (left), Chairman of the Board of Gazprom Rem Vyakhirev, and Chairman of the Board of RAO Unified Energy Systems Anatoly Chubais (right), Oct 2000
Image by Presidential Press and Information Office

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With Russian President Vladimir Putin being inaugurated to a sixth term recently, some are beginning to look at the future of the Russian Federation.

One of those is Anatoly Chubais, who was instrumental in Putin’s rise to power.

Chubais left Russia after the company he was running, Russian energy company Rusnano, came under severe financial difficulties.

He now lives in Israel.

While The Jewish State boasts of a large Russian Jewish population, created after the fall of the Soviet Union with massive migration , the though of Israel being involved in Russia’s future is interesting to say the least.

Anatoly Chubais, one of the key architects of the 1990s economic reforms, has opened a center for Russian Studies at Tel Aviv University. Chubais, who held senior positions in the Russian government and state-run companies until 2022, “organized a group of sponsors” for a new project that will explore possible scenarios of Russia’s future development. Chubais played an important role in Vladimir Putin’s ascension to power during the 1990s and remains an extremely divisive figure in Russian society, writes Russian independent news outlet The Bell.

The new center will analyze recent events in Russian history, covering economic, political, social and cultural themes. The main aim is to research the recent past in order to predict Russia’s future trajectory. In his only comment on the opening of the center, Chubais said that “for the second time” since the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia was “reversing its direction of development”, and that it was important to extract lessons from the country’s recent history that will be relevant for its future. He did not specify the first instance he was referring to, but he was likely thinking of the 2014 annexation of Crimea. 

Dmitry Butrin, deputy editor-in-chief at the Kommersant business daily who has joined the center as a researcher, declared, “If we are talking about the history of Russia from 1991 to 2024, we will not go anywhere from the present. A historical approach will be applied precisely because we, like everyone else, are most interested in answering the question of how we arrived at this point.”

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