Some prominent Russians quit their jobs, refusing to support the war

NEW YORK – Reports of the resignation of a senior Russian government official and his departure abroad are not the first voluntary departure of a person from state service since Russia’s war with Ukraine, but it is certainly the most interesting.

Anatoly Chubais, who was President Vladimir Putin’s envoy to international sustainable development organizations, is well known in Russia. He held high-profile positions for nearly three decades, starting with Boris Yeltsin, the first post-Soviet leader.

Many public figures have condemned the Ukraine invasion and left their positions in state-run institutions and companies, which could signal a split in Russia’s official position on the war. So far, there is no indication that Putin’s resignation has reached Putin’s inner circle.

The handful of exits came when Putin dismissed opponents of his path as “traitors and traitors,” whom Russian society would spit on “like ghosts.”

Some high-profile figures who have turned their backs on the Kremlin because of the war:

Anatoly Chubais

On Wednesday, the Kremlin confirmed media reports about the resignation of 66-year-old Chubais, who was the architect of Yeltsin’s privatization campaign. Citing unnamed sources, the report said he had resigned because of the fighting. He did not comment publicly on his resignation.

Under Yeltsin, the Chubais administration recommended Putin’s appointment, a move that was widely seen as an important step in Putin’s career. When Yeltsin resigned in 2000, Putin became president of Russia.

Chubais was the Deputy Prime Minister from 1994 to 1996 and the first Deputy Prime Minister from 1997-98.

The Russian business newspaper Kommersant reported on Wednesday that Chubais had been spotted in Istanbul this week and had run a picture of a man like him at a Turkish ATM. Since the attack began, Istanbul has taken many Russians to evacuate.

Arkady Dvorkovich

Arkady Dvorkovich was once Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister and now chairman of the International Chess Federation, or FIDE. He criticized the war with Ukraine in a March 14 comment in Mother Jones magazine and was criticized by the Kremlin’s ruling party.

“Wars can be the worst thing in life. Any war. War anywhere kills not just precious lives. War kills hope and aspiration, freezes or destroys relationships and connections. With this war,” he said.

Dvorkovich added that FIDE was “confirming that there are no chess activities in Russia or Belarus and that players will not be allowed to represent Russia or Belarus in official or rated events until the war is over and Ukrainian players return to chess.”

FIDE banned a top Russian player for six months for his vocal support and attack on Putin.

Two days after Dvorkovich’s remarks, a top United Russia party official demanded that he be fired as chairman of the state-sponsored Skolkovo Foundation. Last week, the foundation announced that Dvorkovich had decided to resign.

Lilia Gildieva

Lilia Gildeyeva has long been an anchor on the state-funded NTV channel, which has been cautiously pointing the Kremlin line for two decades. He quit his job and left Russia shortly after the attack.

He told the independent news site The Insider this week that he had decided to “stop all this” on the first day of the February 24 attack.

“It was an immediate nervous breakdown,” he said. “I haven’t been able to pull myself together for days. The decision was probably immediately obvious. There will be no more work. ”

Gildeyeva said that news coverage on state TV channels was strictly controlled by the authorities, the channels received orders from the authorities. He acknowledged that Russia had occupied Crimea since 2014 and had begun supporting a separatist uprising in Ukraine.

“When you give yourself slowly, you don’t notice the depth of the fall. And at times, you find yourself confronted with a picture that leads to February 24, ”he said.

Jhanna Aglakova

Janna Agalakova was a journalist for Channel One, another state-run TV channel, where she spent more than 20 years working as an anchor and then as a reporter in Paris, New York and other western countries.

News of Agalakova’s resignation began to surface three weeks after the attack. This week, he confirmed the reports at a news conference in Paris and explained his decision.

“We’ve come to a point where on TV, in the news, we can only see the story of one person – or a group of people around him. What we see is in power. In our news, we don’t have a country. In our news, we don’t have Russia, “Agalakova said.

Referring to the 2014 annexation of Crimea and support for separatists in Ukraine, he said he “could no longer hide from the propaganda,” even as a foreign correspondent. Agalakova said she “only needs to talk about the bad things happening in the United States.”

“My report was not a lie, but propaganda works like this: you take reliable information, mix it up and put together a big lie. The information is true, but their mix promotes, “he said.

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