Yegor Gaidar, Russian economist and politician, dies at 53

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Yegor Gaidar
Image: Slobodinskij Sergej Dmitrijevitj.

Russian liberal economist and politician Yegor Gaidar died on Wednesday at the age of 53. He was the son of the famous Russian journalist Timur Gaidar.

Born in Moscow in 1956, he graduated in economics from Moscow State University in 1978. In January 1992 in the position of Russia's first finance minister he dropped state control over prices, making Russia a capitalist country with a market economy. While working as an acting Prime Minister of Russia, Gaidar provided the so-called "shock therapy" treatment of the Russian economy, a set of liberal economic reforms.

His health was declining after he was allegedly poisoned in Ireland in 2006, collapsing soon after eating breakfast. This episode led to comparisons to Alexander Litvenenko, killed with radioactive polonium in November 2006.

Yegor Gaidar died of a blood clot at his home in the Moscow region. He is survived by his wife, three sons and daughter. His funeral is scheduled to take place on Saturday, the burial place is yet to be decided.


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