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 Yegor Gaidar

Born:   19 March 1956
Deceased:   16 December 2009

The architect of Russia's market reforms


Yegor Gaidar is one of the most disputable Russian politicians of the 1990s. He is believed to be in charge of the so-called Shock Therapy reforms aimed to take Russia through the painful transition to a post-Soviet market economy. The majority of common Russians see him as a person who made the devaluation of people's savings and galloping inflation real, though experts believe that was enevitable anyway.

Yegor Gaidar, the grandson of Russian writers Arkadi Gaidar and Pavel Bazhov, was born in Moscow in 1956. He started his political career in 1991, when he was appointed deputy prime minister. Gaidar served as Russia's first finance minister under Boris Yeltsin. In January 1992 he made a risky decision to deliberate prices devaluating generation's savings overnight. The only hope was that real prices would bring real money, allowing supply and demand to meet each other. On December 14 1992, he was replaced by Viktor Chernomyrdin, but regained his position of the First Vice-Premier under Chernomyrdin as a deliberate snub to the opposition.

In 1993 Duma elections Gaidar was the leader of the pro-government bloc Russia's Choice. However, due to the bloc's failure to win the plurality of votes in the election, Gaidar's role in the government diminished and he finally resigned on 20 January 1994.

From June 1994 to May 2001 Yegor Gaidar was the chairman for the Democratic Choice of Russia. In 1999-2003 he served as a member of the Russian parliament, a member of the Committee for the Budget and Taxes and a co-chairman for the Union of Right Forces Party.

 After leaving the office, Yegor Gaidar took part in a conference in Ireland in 2006, where he suddenly fell ill just days after Litvinenko was poisoned. After recovery Gaidar claimed he became a victim of some enemies of the Kremlin.

Yegor Gaidar died aged 53 in his house outside Moscow on December 16, 2009. Gaidar died of pulmonary edema, provoked by myocardial ischemia.


Tags: Yegor Gaidar Russian economics    

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