Kremlin climate envoy and veteran reformer Anatoly Chubais quit his post and left Russia over his opposition to the war in Ukraine, Bloomberg reported Wednesday.
The bomb’s departure, according to two unnamed insiders quoted by Bloomberg, makes Chubais the most high-profile figure to break with President Vladimir Putin over his decision to invade Ukraine.
State-run TASS news agency quoted a source close to Chubais as confirming that he had resigned from his post.
Chubais is already in Turkey and has no plans to return to Russia, two sources close to him told the RBC news site.
Chubais had been the Kremlin’s climate envoy, trying to push Russia to adopt greener policies in the face of fierce domestic opposition, a powerful energy lobby and a president who has already questioned the anthropogenic nature of climate change.
He was a powerful figure in the early 1990s, the architect of Russia’s controversial privatization campaign and its transition to a market economy. He brought Putin into the Kremlin, giving him his first job in Moscow, and managed to stay in favor for more than two decades of Putin’s rule as many other leading figures of the Boris Yeltsin era were expelled.
There has been almost no public opposition to Russia’s war in Ukraine from the country’s political elite and Putin has called those who oppose his actions “traitors and scum”.