Chubais Speaks Out: Putin’s ‘Big Mistakes’ in Ukraine War
Anatoly Chubais, a prominent figure in the Kremlin who resigned over Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine, has broken his silence and accused the Russian leader of making ‘big mistakes’ in the ongoing conflict.
Chubais, a former Kremlin chief of staff and ex-Russian deputy prime minister, was initially cautious about publicly criticizing his former boss, but recent leaked messages have revealed his candid assessment of Putin’s actions.
Chubais’ Departure and His Views on the War
Anatoly Chubais resigned and left Russia as the war in Ukraine commenced, refraining from immediate public commentary on the situation. However, newly leaked messages on a Telegram channel now offer insight into his perspective.
In these messages, Chubais described the war as ‘impossible’ and expressed regret for overestimating Putin’s competence.
The decision to engage in the conflict, which has claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands, was attributed to ‘one person’ – Putin, according to Chubais.
He pointed out that Putin’s actions had silenced Russian opposition and transformed his political foes into individuals devoid of rationality.
Putin’s ‘Big Mistakes’ and Unchecked Power
Anatoly Chubais did not mince words when assessing Putin’s role in the war and his leadership style. He characterized Putin as a ‘big man’ who had committed ‘big mistakes.’
Chubais criticized Putin’s approach to politics, which seemed to place him ‘above the criminal law and often above common sense.’ He emphasized that in politics, ‘moronising your opponent’ is a common and detrimental mistake.
Additionally, Chubais’s close associate, Yuri Koropachinsky, remarked that Putin was a classic example of the adage that ‘absolute power corrupts absolutely.’
Chubais’ Life Amid Controversy
Chubais’s departure from the Kremlin was not without controversy, and there were claims that he feared for his life at the time of his resignation. In the past year, he was hospitalized under suspicious circumstances, which were officially attributed to a rare medical condition.
Throughout his career, Chubais served as the head of Russia’s state-owned electrical power monopoly and later oversaw nanotechnology initiatives under Putin’s administration.
Some analysts believe that Chubais, who was once the Kremlin chief of staff to Russia’s first president, Boris Yeltsin, may be exploring a path forward for Russia in the post-Putin era.
While he leans toward Western-style economic reforms, he is wary of a sudden shift to a fully democratic government, fearing it might result in an election that could bring a new Putin-like leader to power.
Financial Probe and Rising Russian Expatriates
The leak of Chubais’s candid messages comes as Russian state investigators are reportedly investigating his financial dealings during his tenure as head of the nanotechnology state corporation. Additionally, the number of Russian citizens renouncing their citizenship has been on the rise.
Over 4,500 individuals have relinquished their Russian citizenship so far this year, surpassing the previous year’s figures.
This trend brings the total number of Russian expatriates to 8,700 since the commencement of Putin’s Ukraine war. Among them are notable figures, including six billionaires, such as Oleg Tinkov, the founder of Tinkoff Bank, who condemned Putin’s war and chose to renounce his Russian citizenship. The move highlights the growing dissent among Russian elites over the country’s actions in the Ukraine conflict.