In the last days, all the russian and international media are talking about the personality of the Yegor Gaidar, the father of Russia’s economic reforms, who died unexpectedly of a blood clot at his Moscow-area home. Opinions upon his about his role and contribution are very different.
In 1991 Yegor Gaidar took responsibility for one of the worst messes in the history of economics, in the largest country in the world. Gaidar’s programme was dubbed “shock therapy”: and though it was indeed a shock which plunged half of Russia into real poverty, it established the skeleton of a market economy and an ownership class which acted as a bulwark against those forces that strove to return to Communist rule – always seen by him and his group as the first reason of the reforms
Anatoly Chubais, his closest collaborator and the man who oversaw the privatisation programme, said that “Yegor Gaidar, in the early 1990s, saved the country from famine, civil war and disintegration. Few people in the history of Russia and in world history can be compared with him for force of intellect, clarity of understanding of the past, present and future, and a willingness to take the most difficult but necessary decisions”.
Gaidar had advised Boris Yeltsin on the need for economic reforms while the former was preparing for power as Russian president: he was appointed acting prime minister for the latter half of 1992, the first year of Yeltsin’s presidency. But the waves of opposition to the reforms, of hatred of him and his colleagues and of the refusal of the Duma, or parliament, to ratify his appointment, obliged Yeltsin to replace him with the more reassuring figure of Victor Chernomyrdin, to whose government Gaidar was later appointed as the first deputy prime minister.
“He stood before the choice of civil war or painful reforms,” Boris Nemtsov, a former deputy prime minister under Yeltsin, told the Ekho Moskvy radio station. “He gave his life to avert civil war.”
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin posted a Web site statement calling the death “a heavy loss for Russia, for us all”,”We have lost a genuine citizen and patriot, a strong spirited person, a talented scientist, writer and expert. … He didn’t dodge responsibility and ‘took the punch’ in the most challenging situations with honor and courage,” the statement said.
President Dmitry Medvedev issued a statement calling Gaidar a “daring, honest and decisive” economist who “evoked respect among his supporters and opponents.”
Rest in Peace
Some videos with his presence :
Егор Гайдар в октябре 1993 г.
Демвыбор России 1995 Егор Гайдар
Егор Гайдар: Какие ошибки ведут к экономической катастрофе
Егор Гайдар в программе Banki.ru «Частное мнение» (1/2)
Егор Гайдар в программе Banki.ru «Частное мнение» (2/2)