Ex-Russian Finance Minister Kudrin reveals Putin gave him bodyguards after intelligence agencies discovered assassination plot
Former Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Kudrin has revealed that his life was in danger in the mid-2000s, leading President Vladimir Putin to instruct the country’s secret services to keep him protected.
Speaking to Moscow news agency TASS, the current chairman of Russia's Accounts Chamber explained that someone was planning to murder him in 2005 or 2006.
“I didn’t have [bodyguards] for most of the time when I was deputy prime minister, except for one year when, according to our secret services, someone was plotting to assassinate me,” Kudrin said. “On instructions from President Vladimir Putin, bodyguards remained by my side right up until that risk was completely gone.”
According to Kudrin, it has not been proven who the culprit was, but it was speculated that his life was in danger after he opted to deny extending special privileges to a private company. Due to nobody being hurt, a criminal case was never opened.
While minister of finance he became known as “Mr. No,” famous for rejecting requests of government ministries and various agencies for extra money.
In the interview, published to mark Kudrin’s 60th birthday, the former deputy prime minister also discussed the current state of the country’s economy. In his opinion, the country’s GDP will drop more than the official government estimates of 4 percent this year. He also criticized the Ministry of Finance’s draft budget as “too strict.”
“We are not investing enough into infrastructure, healthcare, and education,” he said. “Instead, next year will see 10 percent cuts in a number of categories. That could’ve been avoided.”
Born in Latvia, Kudrin is modern Russia’s longest-serving finance minister, serving from 2000 until 2011. In the 20th century, he worked in St. Petersburg under Mayor Anatoly Sobchak, where he met future President Putin. As finance minister in Putin’s government, Kudrin became known as a liberal reformer.
After rumors of a poor relationship with then-President Dmitry Medvedev, he left the role eleven years ago. At the time, it was widely understood that Kudrin had objected to proposed increases in military spending.
Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!