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Financial hole of 130 billion rubles: what Chubais “escaped” from and what earned Putin criticism

Date: May 29, 2024 Time: 17:00:55

The former president of Rusnano Anatoly Chubais emigrated from Russia.

Photo: Mikhail FROLOV


– I don’t understand why he ran away? You see, it may also be due to the fact that in this nanotechnology structure, which he led for many years, complex processes are taking place, and there is a big hole there, a huge financial hole. I won’t even name numbers now, big numbers. Maybe he is afraid that all this will lead to some kind of criminal process, so it even became illegal in Israel,” Vladimir Putin responded to a question about the emigration of Anatoly Chubais, asked at the Eastern Economic Forum on the 12th. of September. .

According to Putin, he was recently shown a “photo from the Internet” in which the former head of Rusnano “is no longer Anatoly Borisovich Chubais, but some kind of Moshe Izrailevich.”

“Honestly, I don’t understand why the hell he needs this,” Putin added. And he stated that Chubais’s activities at the head of Rusnano “clearly failed” both from an economic and financial point of view.

Well, it’s been a long time since we talked about “who’s to blame for everything”! Vladimir Putin did not express the “big numbers” that illustrate the failure of Rusnano with Chubais at the helm, but we will try. And at the same time, let us remember the glorious (not really) adventures of the “father of privatization” in the last year and a half…


Recall that in the spring of last year, after the start of a special operation in Ukraine, Chubais suddenly left Russia. He appeared here and there. He was first seen in Israel, then in Istanbul, Italy and Latvia. In the era of smartphones, such a famous person cannot hide. Especially with such a concentration of Russian-speaking emigrants in all European countries.

And in the summer, an equally academic article by a “British scientist” was published in the academic journal “Problems of Economics.” Chubais was introduced in this publication as an “independent researcher from Great Britain.” That is, from Glasgow, Scotland. It turned out to be something of a memoir. In them, the reformer regretted not having calculated all the risks of the reforms that led to the default crisis in the 90s. Then, for several years, the whole country lived in barter conditions, there was no money, there was no They paid salaries.

However, his memoirs, even in the form of a scientific article, about the mistakes made during the years of Rusnano’s management could be much more interesting. But this publication, apparently, will soon be made by the Attorney General’s Office. Rusnano, which at one point received 130 billion rubles from the budget and almost complete carte blanche for any nanotechnology-related investments, was close to bankruptcy two years ago. And all thanks to “effective” management.

For many years, the state corporation borrowed money, demonstrated success stories, and boasted sky-high salaries and profits. But in reality all this turned out to be a desecration. Over the years, the corporation has borrowed almost 150 billion rubles. And the projects he invested in did not generate normal returns.

In addition, there were also frankly failed investments, when almost all the money invested was lost. Three of the most emblematic examples: a polysilicon production plant in the Irkutsk region, the production of flexible tablets and “the world’s largest plant for the production of lithium-ion batteries” in the Novosibirsk region. The total investment in these three projects amounted to about 30 billion rubles. And these losses had to be written off.

To be fair, Rusnano also had successful cases. For example, a plant producing OCSiAl nanotubes with a capitalization of $2 billion is successfully operating in Novosibirsk: two years ago, Rusnano owned 17% of the shares. But in general the investments were not very successful.


– The commitment to nanotechnology, which was made in the “zero” years, did not work. There was no progress in this area, everyone was busy with digitalization and artificial intelligence. It is there that today’s main innovations, money and profits are located, explained Dan Medovnikov, director of the Institute of Innovation Management at the Higher School of Economics, in an interview with KP.RU a year and a half ago.

And specialization prevented the state corporation from investing in other projects. Rusnano had carte blanche to invest solely in the field of nanotechnology. Investments in other sectors were made by other development institutions. Why the disruptive Chubais failed to change the vector will probably remain a mystery. Well, or we will wait for the next publication of the “Scottish professor” in the next issue of Economic Issues.

Be that as it may, the anti-crisis team is still dismantling the “Augean stables” left by Chubais. According to the latest reports from the state corporation, 82 billion rubles have been spent on debt service alone since 2021. But the new managers have already achieved positive results. For the first six months of 2023, Rusnano’s net profit amounted to 2.9 billion rubles. But it is difficult to believe in the “successes” of this corporation…


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Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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