Accounts Chamber Chairman Alexey Kudrin has revealed that there was a planned attempt on his life when he served as Russia’s deputy prime minister in the early 2000s. Kudrin said this in an interview with the Russian state news agency TASS, which was published on October 12, to mark his sixtieth birthday:
“When I was deputy prime minister, I practically didn’t use [security], with the exception of a single year when, according to the security services, there was an attempt [on my life] being planned. Until the risks were over, I was guarded by FSO officers by order of Vladimir Putin,” Kudrin said.
Kudrin was placed under protection after the Federal Protective Service (the FSO) found a detailed plan for carrying out the assassination, which included the time, place, and the circumstances of the planned crime. According to Kudrin, the security forces protected him 24/7; he lived with the guards at a state-owned dacha.
Kudrin said that according to one unconfirmed theory, the assassination attempt was planned after he denied an unnamed company benefits — the enterprise had received funding from the state budget that it was supposed to return. “The deferral was extended many years before my appointment to the government, but I didn’t do this,” Kudrin said. He called this “absolutely technical, routine work” and noted that he never met with the company’s representatives:
“At that moment, we were reviewing a lot of decisions made by previous ministers [and] deputy prime minister in the 90s. Basically, we were cleaning out all the old loose ends, and I couldn’t imagine that someone was capable of such extreme steps,” he said.
There was never a criminal case launched over the planned assassination, although “they found some traces,” during the preliminary investigation, Kudrin said. “Since the crime was prevented and everyone survived, no one was hurt, it was decided to settle for less,” he said.
Kudrin couldn’t recall the exact year of the averted assassination attempt, saying it was “around 2005 or 2006.” Based on his statements, it happened when he was working as deputy head of the Russian cabinet. According to Kudrin’s official biography, published on the Accounts Chamber’s website, he served as deputy prime minister and finance minister from 2000 to 2004, he then worked as just the finance minister, and in 2007 took up the posts of both finance minister and deputy prime minister once again. He worked in the cabinet until September 2011, when he was at the request of then-president Dmitry Medvedev.
The alleged attempt on Kudrin’s life in 2005–2006 has never been reported in the media. However, Kudrin was afforded government protection in March 2002, making him the first deputy prime minister to be accompanied by the FSO, according to RIA Novosti. At the time, Kudrin’s spokesman Gennady Ezhov said that the deputy prime minister hadn’t asked for protection. Russian President Vladimir Putin provided him with round-the-clock security due to threats that the intelligence services found out about three or four months earlier, a senior government source told RIA Novosti at the time. Politician and former FSB officer Gennady Gudkov, who was a State Duma deputy back in 2002, told the newspaper Izvestia that according to his information, Kudrin was indeed under threat. In response to questions from journalists about a possible attempt on his life, Kudrin said at the time that he knew nothing about it.
Translation by Eilish Hart