A senior Russian official dared to publicly criticize the “special military operation” in Ukraine. He is the liberal Arkady Dvorkovich , a former deputy prime minister and director of the Skolkovo innovation center, who was branded a “traitor” by the ruling United Russia party .

“While Russian citizens with weapons in their hands are fighting for the homeland and the Russian people, others have taken sides with the enemy and defend their interests ,” Andrei Turchak, secretary general of United Russia, denounced on his Telegram channel.

Turchak , considered a hawk in Russian politics, called for the “self-purification” of Russian society to begin with the “disgraceful” dismissal of the director of Skolkovo .

Due to criticism from the ruling party and mounting pressure, Dvorkovich announced on Friday his decision to leave the Skolkovo leadership.

“In the current circumstances” he sees it impossible to continue carrying out this work, which he combines with the presidency of the International Chess Federation (FIDE), according to a statement from said foundation.”

In the interview with the American magazine “Mother Jones” Dvorkovich stressed that he regretted equally the death of all those who fell in the eight years of conflict in Donbas between the Ukrainian Army and the pro-Russian militias.

Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated the day before that the main reason for the current military campaign is the “genocide” committed by kyiv against the population of the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics, whose independence it recognized three days before the start of the operation. special.

The trigger for the criticism of Dvorkovich was not only his statements against hostilities, but his decision to exclude Russia and Belarus from international chess competitions.

At the moment, Russian and Belarusian chess players will be able to compete individually under the international flag , although FIDE could sanction them at any time.

“I dream that Ukrainian and Russian chess players will compete again. Not against each other, but together ,” insisted Dvorkovich, who said he was “in a safe place with his family and friends . ”

However, the Russian champion, the Crimean Sergei Kariakin, considered his options to participate in the tournament of suitors that will be held in June-July in Madrid and that grants the right to face the world champion, the Norwegian Magnus Carlsen, in 2023 .

Kariakin, who defended the colors of Ukraine until 2009, when he received Russian citizenship, has reported death threats for his support for Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin.

“That is nothing other than the same national betrayal, the same fifth column that the president spoke about,” Turchak stressed.

He was referring to Putin’s statements about the existence of a fifth column and a caste of traitors who earn money in Russia and live in the West.

“The most important thing is that a solid peace and a fairer order be established on our planet once and for all, in which there is no place for Nazism or for the domination of some countries over others, ” Dvorkovich said in turn.

Dvorkovich is almost the only senior official who retains some influence from the team of former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who led the Kremlin from 2008 to 2012, when Putin served as prime minister.

Medvedev, who is currently deputy head of the Russian Security Council, wholeheartedly supported the military campaign announced by Putin on February 24 and which has been condemned by the international community.

Categorized in: