Anatoly Chubais, a former senior Russian government official who fled the country shortly after its invasion of Ukraine, has obtained Israeli citizenship, according to media reports Tuesday.
Chubais — a former Kremlin chief of staff who oversaw liberal economic reforms in the 1990s — quit his post as an adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin a month after the war broke out. He then fled the country in protest of the war and was first spotted in Israel in May 2022.
Chubais, who is Jewish, was seen Tuesday at the Nof Hagalil branch of the Population, Immigration and Border Authority handing in files, apparently to receive his official identity documents.
Chubais denied reports that he went to the PIBA office “to change documents pertaining to my stay in Israel.”
But an Israeli official confirmed the details of the reports to Kan news. PIBA said they could not share details on the matter.
Chubais was Putin’s envoy to international organizations on sustainable development, and is well known in Russia. He held high-profile posts for nearly three decades, beginning under former president Boris Yeltsin.
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 hire Putin, a move that was widely seen as an important steppingstone in Putin’s career. Putin became president of Russia in 2000, when Yeltsin stepped down.
In March 2022, reports citing anonymous sources said Chubais stepped down because of the war in Ukraine. He hasn’t publicly commented on his resignation.
A number of public figures have condemned the invasion of Ukraine and left their posts at state-run institutions and companies, which could signal divisions in Russia’s official ranks over the war. So far there have been no indications that the resignations have reached into Putin’s inner circle.